my blogging backstory

posted late december, 2008

back in the day i started on xanga.  everyone else i knew in college was doing the xanga thing, self-disclosure in the name of authenticity seemed like a fun thing, and i needed more reasons to procrastinate from studying, paper writing, and the like.  xanga was my steady friend, on again – off again, for several years…through the rest of my college experience and my first exploration into the wide world beyond education.  a couple years after college i decided to make the leap to blogger.  xanga had become overrun (and largely only used) by teenage girls, and that wasn’t really the audience i was looking for.  blogger seemed more professional, more mature.  and so i settled in there.  i even branched out and kept up multiple blogs, albeit sporadically.  but i never wrote with the same zeal that i had pursued on xanga.

recently, i started toying with the idea of blogging again.  and awhile ago i had decided that if i ever pursued this hobby more diligently i was going to bump up to wordpress.  not that i really wanted to learn a whole new system, but it just seemed like the proper thing to do.  so here i am.  but this doesn’t explain what i’m planning on writing about.

8 years ago i started interning in the Middle School Ministry at First Friends Church in Canton, Ohio.  after graduating from college & spending 4 years at The Chapel with their middle school ministry, Ehko, i’ve wound back up at FFC.  i love youth ministry, have learned quite a bit over the last 8 years, and have quite a bit still to learn.  one of the things i love about youth culture is that it is constantly shifting and changing, presenting a never ending canvas to draw on.  so that’s topic #1.

somewhere along the way while i was in college, i was introduced to the severity of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  i’ve had some pretty amazing opportunities to engage with this issue such as facilitating World AIDS Day programming, leading small group fundraising efforts, and traveling to Mozambique as part of an exploratory team for a related church partnership with World Relief.  once i started researching this issue more, however, i realized that it wasn’t an issue that stood by itself.  poverty, debt-relief, water, healthcare, war, and more.  these all played a part. they were all significant issues in and of themselves, but the fact is none of them stand alone.  the more i started pursuing these, the more they became a part of how i thought and lived.  to the point that it’s now written into my job title:  middle school youth pastor & instigator of justice.  so that’s topic #2.  social justice issues of all shades.

and as consumed as i am with my “work” (yes, i lack a social life), i do dabble in other interests.  topic #3 that will show up on here would be my love of the outdoors.  best vacation i’ve ever had was spent hiking 128 miles over 10 days in the Maine wilderness.  i also love canoeing (especially whitewater), climbing, camping, caving and pretty much anything else that leaves me outside.   topic #4 is technology that i enjoy dabbling in…web 2.0, 3.0, whatever.0, etc.  graphic design, websites, macs, keynote/powerpoint presentations, movies, etc.  you get the picture.  don’t know anything well, but know everything well enough to be dangerous(ly inept).  my final topic  (#5) is all things Quaker.  i think that Quakers have things to say that need to be heard today, maybe more than ever.  and i’d like to be part of that voice speaking.

so that’s what you’ll find here.  youth ministry, social justice, outdoors, technology, and Quakers.  and anyplace they might intersect.  i hope you’ll join the conversation.  it’s always kinda strange when people talk to themselves.

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4 Responses to my blogging backstory

  1. Bob Hurless says:

    Very nice, I really enjoy the stories and look forward to see where this goes and what you have to say. Stay faithful my Brother.

  2. joeldaniel says:

    thanks Bob…you as well. : )

  3. mattwiggins says:

    You didn’t check the link to the dLog, did you? 😉 it’s http://devolog.blogspot.com/

  4. joeldaniel says:

    duly noted. thanks : )

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