From: William Gibbons Jr
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2020 2:13 PM
To: william's email list 2018
Cc: T&SC Board of Trustees
Subject: New Year Changes
On September 20, 2019 an email from Network for
Good to the Teaching & Sharing Centers started out with . . .
We don't mean to startle you, but . . .
Average email open rate = 20%
Average text message open rate = 98%
That was well over a year ago, but I saved the email because the
disparity was indeed eye opening. It was enough to start me
rethinking that I should get out of the email/newsletter business.
Yet, I was not set up for other alternatives. Sending text messages
is not really an option on flip phones. Anyone who has tried, knows
the slow, cumbersome, process involved in composing even a single
sentence pressing keys once, twice, three, or four times for
individual letters. It has been my choice. I have not had the
slightest desire to switch to a larger smart phone. It was also my
decision, many years ago, not to get involved in social media like
Facebook, or Twitter. I have never regretted that particular choice.
I kind of miss the days of creating, and sending paper newsletters,
even though I could not do it very often because of the time
commitment it took, and the prohibitively high cost of printing, and
mailing them. I wonder what percent of readership they had? Or,
still do for those with big enough budgets to afford them, and staff
to produce them? But, all of this has placed me behind the times in
the modern electronic communication methods of keeping in touch . .
. a very crowded field from my perspective. Lives seem so cluttered
now, how do we find time for any of it?
"Let go, let God."
That little saying has been around for some time. I did just that in
2017 with a year moratorium on originating outgoing emails. I
suspect my decision to do so again in 2021 will become a permanent
choice. If the work God has started at the Teaching & Sharing
Centers is to continue beyond my lifetime, and there is every
indication that was His design from the start, then the organization
must increase, while I must decrease as I come closer to the end of
my earthly journey. Others in the T&SC are more in tune with all of
today's options than I have any desire to be. I am of the impression
that the board will be endeavoring to re-establish some form of
regular communication with those interested in 2021. I do not know
if it will involve regular mail, email, text messaging, social
media, video conferencing, or other options on the horizon. As a
branch of the T&SC, any broad scope contact would most likely
include updates on my continued endeavors through william's works
also. I encourage you to respond to the board if you would
like to remain connected. Let them know your desire, and also your
thoughts of the best ways to do that. I have put my T&SC Board of
Trustees mailing list in the Cc section of this email, to make it
easy for you to show your interest in being kept informed by simply
clicking "reply to all" and stating so. Plus, absolutely, if you
are in any way willing to help with this, let them know that, too.
I have to smile, and wonder how old you need to be to know what the
above clipart is a picture of, let alone how to use it.
Communication methods is not the only thing influencing my decision
to pull back some from emails, and other technologies. I am finally
at a place where I do not feel the need to engage in the many
arguments of our culture. I am on the side of Truth. I do not claim
to know the Truth. I do believe there is a Truth beyond our many
little truths. The real Truth always triumphs. Whether we all begin
to seek it, and live it, or if we ultimately have to surrender to it
after much heartache, and disaster . . . Truth always triumphs,
simply because it is the Truth. When I started this journey
twenty-six years ago, all of my early brochures, and flyers, had the
slogan "Truth is Truth" at the top of them. Years later, after often
seeing it, someone asked me what in the world does that mean? Well,
if you ever wondered, now you know.
Speaking of Truth, the Bible tells us that God visited plagues on
Egypt when they would not listen. He sent His chosen people, Israel,
into captivity and exile when they turned away from Him. I very
sincerely hope we are not entering into one of those periods of
correction for all of our sins, and our culture's growing rejection
of the idea of a Creator. Hopefully, Covid-19 is an isolated
challenge, like one hundred years ago with the Spanish flu. For God
does not even need to do anything to us. All He has to do is pull
back a little, and leave us to our own devices. We are entirely
capable of, and getting very good at, bringing destruction upon
ourselves. It does not matter if we claim to be liberal, or
conservative, or any other distinctions. We are all playing a part
in this unfolding drama titled "doing it our own way." The IHS "what
would Jesus have me do" program is not just the latest cutesy
thing to come along. It is the beginning of the way out of the hole
we have dug ourselves into. I pray, and hope, it will become seen as
such. Serious times demand serious solutions beyond just vaccines.
Real solutions require real change. Christians can play a big part
Having God's will be made manifest in my life is my top priority,
and has been the "bottom line" of my daily morning prayer for a long
time. Even so, my current intention is to try to get back to the
basics I started with, found in the a touch of william and
Cherokee Bill's Teaching & Trade Center mission statements. I
will continue to be available to the christian life programs
branch, its mission statement, and programs, when requested. It
actually already permeates everything I do. I would like my focus to
return to sharing information, and my creative endeavors, through my
website. I am currently working on getting a "secured" designation,
so people are not dissuaded from visiting it if they do not
understand that "not secured" is just fine if no personal
information is collected on the site. It is costly. But, as I have
said a number of times, perception is everything in our culture. I
will also still help with the Michigan Living History Encounters
once a year encampment, and displays, during Fall Color Cruise &
Island Festival if the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce brings it
back after we get beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, and our board
decides to participate again.
I would like to emphasize, I am not eliminating email completely. I
will use email as an option particularly if I feel the need for a
written record of a communication. I will also, of course, reply to
any emails you send to me. Feel free to contact me by email, or
otherwise. In my a touch of william mission statement there
is a reference to one on one teaching. I am still happy to share my
ideas, and experience, about photography, philosophy, the struggles
of a faith journey, a relationship with God, following your heart,
and a host of other things. There has never been an area I
considered off limits for genuine questions from fellow seekers of
Truth. Plus, my website is full of information showing the evolution
of my journey, and development of my opinions. Unlike much of our
modern business world, my contact-feedback page lets you know how to
reach me by regular mail, email, and by phone. If you ever have
trouble with a past email address, it is a good place to look.
Speaking of which, I am going to be restructuring, and
consolidating, to cut back on the number of email addresses I have,
and monitor for others. The first step will be to redirect some
addresses to reduce the number coming into the Outlook program in my
computer from thirteen to five. I will see how that goes, then later
decide whether to just delete some addresses. As stated above, if
you have an address for me that stops working, you can always check
As the ways of holding meetings are changing,
especially due to Covid-19, I would like to remind you that all
meetings of the Teaching & Sharing Centers are open meetings. This
means the public can be there, even if only as an observer. Often,
in the past, there has been a place for public comment at the end of
a meeting agenda. Members are particularly encouraged to attend.
After God, this is your organization. If anyone would like to be
notified of when, and how, meetings will take place, let the board
know of that desire as well.
I ran across this when I was preparing the
Christmas email. An "oldie but goodie" so to speak. It was most
likely written in pieces starting in April 2001, almost twenty years
ago. However, it was not sent until June of 2002. Except for a
couple of very basic graphics, the excerpt is only text from the
newsletter. The original version had my poetry and other articles in
it. Nonetheless, it is a nice bit of nostalgia describing some of
the early history of the T&SC. I was still a sole-proprietorship at
the time. It was the last solely paper newsletter I sent. The next
one, about nine months later, was after I had the wsharing.com
website, and the new (to me) tool of email at my disposal.
2002 "Headline: "September 11, 2001"
Excerpt from #15
THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
"You may have noticed the slightly different
look to this newsletter and the name change from 'Sharing' to 'wsharing.' This
is to try and be consistent with the Teaching & Sharing Center
website which is now up and running. As things have worked out, I
also found it necessary to connect to the Internet in order to
manage the site myself. First a cute anecdote about that.
This whole process has required me to obtain a
new computer (Dell), learn a new operating system (Windows XP), a
new website program (FrontPage 2002), and all about being connected
to and navigating the Internet.
AT&T connected me to the Internet the morning
of 11/25/02 (Monday). By Tuesday night, as I was walking in the cold
crisp darkness back to the garage to take the garbage out to the
curb, I was clearly already plenty frustrated, for I looked up and
exclaimed, "wow, this is a lot more fun than the Internet!" That is
pretty bad when taking out the garbage becomes more fun than
anything. Things have settled down some since then as my knowledge
and skills have increased, but I am not entirely certain that my
#015 February 2003
"Christian Environmentalist Should Be Redundant"
I am not exactly sure where taking out the
garbage would fit on my list today, but I can say without a doubt
that even splitting wood, or almost any outdoor activity, still
ranks higher than the Internet based on how much fun something is to
do, or not. None of this is to say, however, that I am against the
Internet, or technology. Both have wonderful benefits. Balance is
still needed though.
P.S. As I was looking in my files for clipart for this email, I ran
across the "a new day" graphic below. For whatever reason, that
reminded me of my 12:04 poem from years ago. So, I thought as
long as I just "wrapped up" 2020, this might be a nice way of
ushering in 2021.