[Linux4christians] CharLUG & Christians in LUGs
dcparris at matheteuo.org
Sat Oct 8 20:29:56 EDT 2005
Perhaps this should be two separate posts. However, there is a
connection between these two topics. I know another member of this list
(assuming he's still subscribed) is/was the President of his local LUG
in the Northwest. He is also a pastor, iirc. I am active in CharLUG,
and Ben is, I believe, active in his LUG. We as Christians really
should be involved in local LUGs. And now it's time for "something new
and completely different"!
The Charlotte Linux User Group met today to elect officers and decide on
the need for the infamous '501(c)(3) ' status. Our interim steering
committee officers were mostly elected to serve a full one-year term,
except for two offices which needed someone to fill the positions.
Yours truly ascended to (or got stuck with, depending on how you look at
it) the position of vice-chairman. Since no one else was rushing to
raise their hands, I raised mine. I'm not sure it was so much an
election as "thank you for not letting me get nominated for it". ;-) We
will move to achieve the official NPO status, since we will be able to
benefit in significant ways from that. Will file our charter and
by-laws soon. We will be asking an attorney to look over the docs, due
mostly to our proximity to the SC state line (and whether folks from out
of state can be members or not).
Anyway, if any of you don't participate in a local LUG (GLUG??), I would
strongly encourage that. If there are none near you, consider starting
one. I'd like to raise a couple of points on this. For one, a fellow
believer here recently considered withdrawing from our LUG due to an
unfortunate religious-oriented flame war (which may have been my own
fault) in order to start a Christian LUG. I won't go into the details,
but another Christian may have actually un-subscribed from the list
because he felt the hostility from the non-religious crowd was too
much. I know I'm flamebait in practically any general tech forum I
'walk' into. However, I have nearly always won the respect of my
adversaries in the end. At any rate, the Christian LUG guy and I talked
this week about his idea. I believe I won him over. Instead of
starting a Christian LUG, he'll be as involved as he can with The Freely
Project, and participate in CharLUG.
If we withdraw from LUG's because of the known hostility towards
Christians (or anyone with some kind of faith), we (1) are not exactly
sharing in Christ's suffering (part of our spiritual growth process)
and, (2) miss opportunities for phenomenal relationships with other
geeks (including the opportunity to demonstrate Christ's love to them).
We are "in the world", even if not "of the world". Since we're in it,
we may as well participate in it so that the rest of the world can see
Whose we are. So, if you're not in a LUG, join one where/when
possible! Start one, if you have to. One of the important things is to
build those relationships with non-believers and be actively involved so
they can see our faith working in us.
If you feel the need, or know of others who do, to start a "Christian"
LUG, I would suggest instead starting a local chapter of The Freely
Project, and working with the LUG to accomplish Freely's goals. You can
learn more about Freely's goals from the website
(www.thefreelyproject.org). Starting a local Freely chapter is a
long-term (not necessarily full-time) task. However, by participating
in a local LUG, you will likely discover at least one or two other
believers in your midst. I am currently working on setting up a sister
site for the US/Charlotte folks. I will be presenting libre software to
a church's technology team at the end of the month. The church has @
4000 members. I see some opportunities for at least a partial migration
to libre software.
Also, whether or not you are involved in a local LUG, perhaps you could
at least contact yours to see if there is any interest in working with
local religious groups, especially to offer technical consulting. Ben,
we need to provide a list of any LUGs willing to work with churches on
the website, and links/contact info for those LUGs. CharLUG should be
added to the list.
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