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August 9, 2011 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Kinfolk Magazine (intro Video) is a "growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings." Many of these artists (mostly married couples) have their own blogs in which they post photos and discuss marriages, travel, cooking, crafts and (with less frequency) their belief in Fundamentalist Christianity.

While many of the bloggers in the larger blog community are Mormon, (including the most popular one:Rockstar Diaries) some of the most prominent bloggers [andrewandcarissa] are members of the controversial Covenant Life Church (wiki).
posted by Potomac Avenue (12 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
America is a weird place. Hip Christians are a phenomenon largely unknown to me here in Canada. I guess I find myself at different gatherings.
posted by Roachbeard at 3:49 PM on August 9, 2011

I am very happy to have fundamentalist Christians use their energy for yummy food, nice clothing, and twee magazines, rather than taking over the U.S. government. Seems like a win.
posted by feckless at 3:55 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Hip Christians are a phenomenon largely unknown to me here in Canada.

Funny. Until this moment, I thought Danielson was Canadian.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:57 PM on August 9, 2011

yeeeecchhhh. Someone sent this to me a few weeks back. It seems like a spoof, but it is not. Hipsters in a canoe! Hipsters at a picnic table! Hipsters making friends!

Who the hell is not interested in small gatherings? Why would anyone create some sort of special media effort over "small gatherings"?

(OK-I am not sure why this plucks my nerves so much, but damn if they ain't plucked)
posted by tarantula at 5:57 PM on August 9, 2011

It looked to me like polygamy? Was it just the hairstyles?(:
posted by femmme at 6:33 PM on August 9, 2011

Tarantula, "Small Gatherings" is often Christian code for house churches (in-home mid-week church services popular with fundies) and/or "accountability groups" that monitor members' faith and practices.
posted by Wylla at 11:41 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Having looked a bit more closely at the site, it looks like they are thinking of themselves as a sort of in-print accountability group for aspirational hipster Christians, or a guide to the hipster religious life for hipsters attracted to religion or (more likely) fundies or mormons attracted to hipsterism.

Young marrieds - looking for support for keeping together and raising children that society-at-large often doesn't provide - are a great target for this type of effort. They're a prime source of converts to religions that 'support the traditional family' and a font of the type of insecurity ("Have I lost touch and become irrelevant when I got married and had a kid?") that lead people to adopt a hipster/artist identity later in life, too. And all that intensive cooking and crafts and organised 'fun' prety much requires a spouse who doesn't work outside the home. So it's a lifestyle bible for a certain subgroup, I guess. (Not sure how the canoeing fits in.)

It also seems to really closely follow the template of lots of university Christian groups - the bait and switch. You present an attractive, spiritually ambiguous surface and roll out the more controversial doctrines later, when the target is already socially enmeshed in the group or caught up in the dream of the perfect lifestyle.

(All links from the CLC, but obviously that's not the only church the contributors are involved's just probably less familiar to MeFi than Mormonism.)
posted by Wylla at 8:31 AM on August 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the info Wylla. Now I will know what to expect if I am ever invited to a "small gathering"!
posted by tarantula at 9:16 AM on August 10, 2011

Wylia, I wonder if the more mainstream bloggers (the Mormons, or the simply pretentious) realize and approve of who they're collaborating with, or if they simply don't know the difference between a more typical evangelical church and one with the somewhat wacky cult-like tactics of the CLC/SGM?

Not that I am being paranoid. (Nobody ever asks me over for dinner anyway D: )
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:32 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I lived in a "house church" in college. It was an actual house whose rent-paying residents consisted of 5 unchurched Midwestern male graduate students, a couple of Glass Menagerie-type women, and me. We brewed our own beer, watched TV, and went grocery shopping while drunk. Our formerly Minnesota Lutheran housemaster constructed a ping-pong table completely out of parts he found on the street and donated a cardboard cutout of Seven of Nine to the living room. To increase the religiosity, a believer gave the house a beautiful framed poster of Holbein's Martin Luther, who we propped him up alongside Seven so that he could watch TV, too.

We operated completely independently of the actual house churchgoers, who showed up 1.5 times per week, left, and (shockingly) never wanted to chill with us.

Kinfolk missed their chance to profile us.
posted by skbw at 11:04 AM on August 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

I pointed this out to a friend last night, and it looks like "small gatherings" really is a pun - meant both in the Christian-code sense ("I'm really interested in small gatherings!") and in the excuse-for-lifestyle-profiles-of-specific-couples-we-know sense ("Kinfolk is a guide to small scale casual entertaining.")

So it's not just a whistle that only dogs hear!

I still want to read a profile of skbw's old house - did you ever go canoeing? Can you pretend you did?
posted by Wylla at 2:30 AM on August 11, 2011

No, but we most definitely could have. In addition to the Minnesota Lutheran, who would have made a kayak out of plastic plates stapled together as for a dodecahedron, we had an actual architect (the brewer) who made some impressive projects out of steamed plywood, the exact nature of which I'd hate to betray on the open internet. A canoe would be no problem.

I myself sponge-painted the splashback in the upstairs kitchen and installed a sponge and dish soap holder that began life as a metal shower caddy. I went back last year and the splashback was repainted, but the "repurposed" shower caddy was still on the wall, 12 years later! Take that, small gatherers!

Oh, the bad old days. We were all so lonely and had such a good time. Like yesterday I remember the movie night that wasn't. "This isn't [German Reformer] House!" hollered the would-be organizer. "This is Loser House!" Then I think the brewer/architect fired up some pizza dough and made pizza. Never once did he pass the hat for ingredients, btw, speaking of intentional Christian living.
posted by skbw at 9:03 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

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