New year, new possibilities

As my personal deconstruction has progressed, I’ve pretty well released attaching too much significance to random dates on the calendar like New Year’s Day.

I mean, who decided that it was at this particular point in our annual solar circumnavigation that we’d mark the end of one cycle and the beginning of another? To me it would have made more sense to start at one of the equinoxes or solstices and measure from there.

But I digress.

Since we do indeed have this collectively agreed upon point at which to flip the calendar to a new 12 months, it feels like a good time to bring you all up to date on some of the things happening here in the Accidental Tomatoes workshop.

Expanded content

You may have already noticed that we recently changed our content release date from Friday to Monday. That really had far less to do with things like statistics and analytics than it did with trying to make life easier on our amazing content team for submission deadlines, podcast editing, and the like.

So you can continue to expect new podcast episodes and new blog posts on alternating Mondays (allowing, of course, for the occasional hiccup when things don’t go as planned…like this week, for instance).

We’re also going to introduce a new feature this month with a page for curated content from other creators who are posting articles, media, etc. that we feel are relevant to our community.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had intended to bring that page online back in November as I mentioned in our Season 3 preview episode (S3E1) of the podcast, but after bumping up against some logistical issues I ended up kicking the can down the road until after the end of the year. Look for an announcement sometime in the next couple of weeks about the launch of our new curated page and more about how we intend to use it.

Intentional intentionality

The other thing that will be happening in 2022 is that we are going to be more intentional about the ways we build community around the content we share with you here.

That means not only that we’re create new ways to engage with readers and listeners here and on our social media platforms, but also that we’re going to leverage some existing and potential partnerships to help folks who are dreaming about new ways of being in justice-oriented spiritual communities make contextual connections with each other.

That’s basically a fancy way of saying that we want to be a catalyst for helping folks in our audience create the kinds of communities that bring joy and meaning to their lives.

New Wineskins

Part of the way that will happen is through our affiliation with the New Wineskins Network, an outgrowth of a pub theology community I helped launch in 2014 that has evolved into what I like to call a “non-traditional, post-denominational” online community for people who identify as “spiritual exiles.”

One key goal of the New Wineskins Network will be to provide resources to help others create communities that make sense for them in their own specific contexts and to connect those communities together in mutually beneficial ways.

It’s still a little too early in the game to describe exactly what that might look like (among the possibilities are seminars, webinars, workshops, etc.), but that’s one reason for sharing the idea with you now…I’d love to hear from you if you have an idea for that kind of community that we can help you develop, or if you’re part of such a community that needs some help figuring out where to go next and how to get there.

Patreon support

One final thing we’ll be working on in the near future is a re-vamp of our Patreon page for ongoing financial support.

When I first launched this site in 2019 I had originally imagined Patreon as a way to simply help offset some of the expenses that go along with creating and maintaining a content site…things like hosting fees, site subscriptions, audio equipment, etc. I’m extraordinarily grateful to those of you who have signed on so far to help us get this project off the ground over our first two years.

As we continue to grow and expand, there are going to be more opportunities for folks in our community to partner with us to help finance the plans we have and the needs those plans will require.

When it’s finished, our new Patreon portal will offer some fun, exclusive content, merchandise, and new ways for supporters to connect with one another and grow relationships together.

(We also plan to offer some bonus perks to existing Patreon supporters when we make the migration, so if you want to get in on the ground floor now would be a great time! Click here to choose a support tier and help us move forward!)

Envisioning possibilities

Of course, I’ve lived through enough of these New Year cycles to know that there’s no way to accurately predict what a year will bring, what plans will come to fruition, which ones will fall through, and what factors and circumstances may come along that could influence things in ways none of us can imagine.

What I do know, though, is that if we can creatively envision a future but at the same time hold our plans loosely, we’ll be ready when opportunities arise.

As an ENFP/Enneagram 7, that’s about as much structure as you’ll ever get from me.

Let’s walk into this New Year together, keeping a focus on justice and liberation and dismantling the systems and structures that get in the way, and see what happens.

I’m excited about the possibilities.

I hope you are too.

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