When we stopped holding services we recognised that we would need something to help us stay connected, to have somewhere for the conversations to continue when we were no longer in each other's presence.

Continuing the conversation

So we created the Gracebook Net, an internet forum where we could share our diaries, our contact details, our news, our discussions and the deepest thoughts of our hearts. Because we would be sharing vulnerable stuff we wanted it to be private. But privacy isn't the same as secrecy so we have reproduced a couple of past conversations to give you a feel for some of what goes on behind the sign-in screen.

What else goes on behind the sign-in screen?

The Gracebook Net comprises several forums that any member can add new topics to or reply to existing topics. The forums range from the practical, 'Lent, Borrowed, Wanted and Offered' or 'General Notices' to the spiritual, 'Open Devotional' or 'Theology Corner'. In between there is a forums for book review 'What's everyone reading?", one for 'Family News', one for thoughts about connecting further in 'Getting Together' and others besides. There is a shared calendar of events (there is no central organisation remember so anyone can schedule and event and invite others) and a list of members with contact details. When anything new goes in, each person is emailed about it, unless they opt to be more selective about what they are notified of, that is.

Introducing friends

Gracebook has now expanded beyond the bounds of the old BCC Community but it is still all about relationship. Membership is by invitation so you need to know one or more people already to become a member. We want to be inclusive but via the natural course of relationship and friendship. When you are invited to a party you are introduced to others by the one who invites you. It's the same here.

The Picture Above:

One of the leaders of BCC had a picture of a net of lights like those that are sometimes hung at windows as Christmas decorations. Each member of the community was like one of those lights, connected by close relationship with just a few others but with each person's interrelationships forming a whole net of lights. Relationship is a high value for us but it cannot be forced. It's natural to have close friends but still to have a concern for others in the community. This is why we refer to our private internet forum as 'the Net' because it help to give each member sight of this wider net of lights.

A sample topic from the Gracebook Net 'The Burning Question' forum

Sample topic 'The Power of Prayer' from 'The Burning Question' forum Link to BCC's 'Fern Britton Meets... Desmond Tutu'

A sample topic from the Gracebook Net 'Be encouraged!' forum

Sample topic 'New Dog ... God Knew' from the 'Be Encouraged' forum Link to Bible Gateway

 

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