Monday, July 09, 2012

#GC77 and Social Media

I'm sending this in from New Orleans in hopes that it will be helpful in the testimony for Resolution DO69 regarding the Social Media Challenge to the Episcopal Church.

I believe it to be 100% necessary that we in the Episcopal church as staff, clergy, and congregants, engage ourselves and our communities by using social media. It's usually free, it's usually rapid, and it can be fun and informative. Can many of you fathom doing business without using email? Often, social media is checked more frequently than email.

Yes, we must take the good with the bad, we must also discern how often to use social media and when to put down phones and "Be still". It is a challenge, but I accept it!

Just from this #GC77 Twitter stream and Media Hub, I have learned more about the inner workings and procedures of the Episcopal Church in four days than in my entire life. I've been able to participate in conversations with people of all ages, genders, opinions, and in many levels of church life. Relationships are being formed that are affecting me positively in my faith and theological development. I am inspired by witnessing this convention and its activity.

I have watched both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops and worship services. What has it done? It has inspired me, made me more proud than ever to be an Episcopalian - we're the ones who are willing to discuss, to argue, to challenge. Social media provides another language with which to communicate.

It has been only through Twitter and the Steaming media that I have learned:
- Our youth are aware and articulate in their spiritual growth - perhaps more than anyone gave them credit before and that we now realize that they are the future - right now.
- I'm learning that our church is NOT dying.
- I saw that Bonnie Anderson is a gracefully eloquent speaker who radiates friendliness - "Madam" Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori has a stellar sense of humor and is completely amazing
- Whoever runs @iamepiscopalian is kind, quick-witted
- Lent Madness is superb and educational
- Church Publishing is approachable, responsive and has swag (just ask them about #totebagenvy)

The aforementioned items may seem silly, BUT I truly feel as if I have gotten to know a tiny bit about the bigger picture....the interactive picture of our church that I have not seen or felt in a long while. As a musician, I often get bogged down in my own conducting / singing  world and colleagues. Through social media, I now have a much wider view of the functioning Episcopal Church to which I belong....all in four days. For me, at this time in my life, this is exactly what I needed at this moment.

Caroline in NOLA

No comments: