In the pause between Sunday Services, I just wanted to thank you for my very real virtual friend Olive.
Olive had thousands of virtual friends all over the world, people who, like myself, had never met her except in cyberspace but who nonetheless were invited to share in her world and in what mattered most to her.
In spite of her age (88), Olive didn't understand the word 'technophobia'. I have no idea whether or not she mastered her video-recorder, but she certainly manged to master modern telecommunications - and my bet is that if heaven has an internet - it wont take Olive long to find a way to get back on-line!
Those of us who followed her blog knew her as a lively, and passionate campaigner for social justice, someone who believed in speaking out as loudly as she could for those who had no voice. Her postings were designed to be informative and challenging, they were her regular early-morning wake up calls to a society and a Church which she sometimes felt were sleeping their way through life-changing moments. She took the best of the news and communicated it as a part of the contemporary gospel. proof positive that faith in action can and does change the world. It is a wonderful testimony to her ministry of communication that the last posting Olive made on her blog was concerned with the passing of the cluster munitions (prohibitions) act.
It's at times like this that we recognise how blurred the edges are between the 'real' and the 'virtual' worlds that some of us live in. Although I never met Olive, I always knew that behind the pages of her blog was a real woman, one who sometimes struggled with pain and ill health. Someone who knew grief as well as joy, but someone who chose always to live on a bigger map than most.
Through her blog and her interaction with the rest of the Methoblogosphere, Olive enjoyed a second-life which was far more real and engaging than anything that could be bought with linden dollars. She was precious to us, and we were real to her, real friends, real company, real conversation partners with whom she could be wonderfully honest and engaging.
Olive's blog 'Octomusings' was a window onto what was most real to Olive, which, because of her faith, meant that we were given a window onto life with you God, and onto the activity of the Methodist Church which she loved (and like most of us - wrestled with!).
She found a means of evangelising without preaching, a way of telling the good news that was truly 'pioneering' for her time and her generation. She was Methodism's own 'Fresh Expression' of a Local Preacher - on-line and up-to-date, engaged and relevant, passionate and pertinent.
We will miss her musings
Saturday, 8 May 2010It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our Mum, Olive passed away on the 5th of May, 2010 in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
We would like to offer our warmest, heartfelt thanks to all who have followed her blog, enriching her life with interest and happiness.
She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.
Tony and Sheila Morgan.