Welcome back! It’s been the longest hiatus in Hacking Christianity’s 12 year history. But we are back with a new theme, new logo, new features, and new…well, a lot new! And a lot coming soon. Let’s take a dive into this fifth iteration of Hacking Christianity.
Let’s dive into the new site details.
The New Logo
A rebranding process was begun with In the Water, a design company out of Texas. After several branding interviews and a focus group, we ended up with the above.
Our inspiration was a disk analysis utility that, when it analyzed what was taking up space on a hard drive, it would create an exploded pie chart similar to the above, separating out the types of files. This seemed geeky tech while also being accurate: Hacking Christianity prides ourselves on deep analysis of Christian and denominational questions and data. Taking apart a whole and putting it all back together–yup, that’s on brand!
The different colored pie wedges allow us to use different color schemes. You’ll see in meme and website material that Geek, Church, and United Methodist content will draw from different color schemes to better visually identify that content.
I’m super thankful to In the Water, and thrilled that both the process and the product were illuminating as to what we’re doing with this website and community. Highly recommend them if you are looking for something for your online presence or faith community!
Side note: Oddly, another progressive church group that popped up in recent months, Convergence, also has the divided circle image. Theirs looks more clean, like a completed Trivial Pursuit piece, whereas Hacking Christianity looks a bit more chaotic like falling down a rabbit hole. I think both are on brand. 🙂
A Tightened Focus
Just as COVID-19 has reshaped the Church, COVID-19 has fundamentally reshaped all three of the blog’s areas of interest, and it is helpful to name that.
- Technology and Faith have become intertwined, with faith now being communicated almost solely through technology, and churches figuring out how to get up to speed. While HX has touched on theory a lot over our 12 years, keeping a focus on practical advice and grounded reflections will better serve our readers in this season.
- The United Methodist Church is hanging in abeyance, unable to divide along ideological lines, and yet banding together under COVID-19 has diminished that inclination in some parts as we find we are better together. We have varied visions of what the future holds, so this blog will continue our timely, comprehensive, and deep dive commentary. Sorry, the word count isn’t going down.
- Geek gospel content, while comfortably in third place, continues with more breadth as people at home find more time to dive into series or genres or niches that they didn’t have time for before. The explosion of geeky reflections on our areas of interest will yield a lot more content. And plenty of Star Wars reflections too 🙂
Finally, Hacking Christianity relies on guest content and linked articles to provide firsthand and personal reflections on matters of racial, gender, and identity justice–areas that a straight white male person of privilege like me shouldn’t take the lead on. It’s a tricky balance of how to use a platform to center others while also offering my perspective on areas that I feel comfortable speaking to. I’ll be relying on the Hacking Christianity community to keep me connected, grounded, and humble to best offer contributions to the work of intersectional justice.
Finally: the most requested feature
For a decade, I’ve used a Feedburner account to allow people to subscribe to the RSS feed via email. It was stupid, with a really small font, and not useful. Given how many folks are now staying away from social media–particularly Twitter and Facebook, which is where my presence is most connected–it was imperative to figure out an email platform.
In recent months, I’ve found myself reading really quality Substack subscriptions. Substack seems geared towards the long-form and link compilation forms that I’m a fan of. So I took the plunge and now all the blog content is now available on a substack email subscription.
In addition, email subscribers will get access to content before the blog readers do, and some content that might not make the blog. It’s an easy weekly subscription, I hope you take advantage of it. Click here to subscribe.
Coming Soon in Version 5.5: Media Channel
One of the more exciting pieces that isn’t yet ready for primetime is a media channel. While I’m a text blog person, swimming in prose and punctuation, COVID-19 has taught me a lot about video and audio in my local church, and those skills are coming to this blog community as well.
When the channel is up, you’ll be the first to know!
- Version 1.0 was a really bad Blogger template from 2008-2010.
- Version 2.0 was a self-hosted WordPress template from 2010-2012.
- Version 3.0 was a new WordPress template from 2012-2014 after the site exploded.
- Version 4.0 (the key and network logo) was from 2014 to mid-2020.
- Version 5.0 is from today in November 2020.
Thoughts? Things that are broken or annoyances? Thanks for your help bug-hunting!
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