- the possibility of getting pregnant, again;
- welcoming a new pastor to my church and fostering a new friendship;
- renewing my own body and spirit this summer with exercise, right eating, and spiritual disciplines;
- working on my relationship with my wife that the experience of this season would help us to deepen our relationship for the next.
Unfortunately… and I can only speak for the United Methodist Church, but our UM Communications and, in Illinois, our Conference Communication team make the church look old-fashioned (that’s honest, mostly, I suppose) and they move too slowly and carefully. Worse, they focus on communications rather than relationships! Our denominations are stymied and they make us look terrible (recently at our annual charge conference we were shown a video of our bishop that made him look like a used car salesman, oh- and the district office couldn’t provide my church a digital copy when asked!!!). But at the local church level and in our own communities we can now accomplish bigger things than they are even capable of with social media. Our reach can be effective in our local communities (even the most rural) and they can grow our local, walled churches… yet our reach can also,now, go well beyond our local communities and walled churches. When we effectively use the internet, social media, and blogging we can share faith, touch lives, and experience community in places that we never before dreamed possible.
- Make sure you have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts and (and this is the really important part) grow your presence:
- Work hard to cultivate a following by:
- posting often
- posting quality and relational materials
- try not to use insider language
- continually adding friends / followers
- Look at other accounts / pages / walls / feeds and share interesting items
- Don’t be afraid to share personal things about yourself (within safety and reason). Use these avenues as a way to foster relationships!
- Get a blog account!!!
- There are several sites that can help you, I especially recommend: Blogger (by Google, just use your Google user/pass) or WordPress.
- Get your blog and social media accounts connected to your webpage. It makes your page more dynamic and personal.
- Share your blog by social media. It turns 140 characters into a full and on-going narrative.
- I can’t emphasize this enough: don’t be afraid to share your own personal stories, yet connect them to your faith.
- Keep it short. Think in terms of a 1/2 to full page of paper at most when you write your blog! (This blog post is pushing the limit)
- Keep your eyes peeled for new ways to connect online. If lots of people are using 4square or LinkedIn, etc…then go where the people are.
Paul used tent making to build relationships, John Wesley went out to the masses in England preaching in fields and cemeteries…I don’t know what it will look like entirely yet, but we have to find new venues and ways to build relationships and share our faith story! Now, in 2012, we must be a Pentecost people! We must feel the Holy Spirit as it enlivens us to share our faith and we must speak the languages that God is giving us the gift to speak. It is our time and our new and exciting world. Let’s share our faith as disciples of Christ!!!
Scripture: Luke 22:63-65, 23:32-38
If this was the only moment that defined Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t have any hope, but his life was not defined only by his lowest moments, but also by the high moments of his birth, life, ministry and, later, resurrection! Christ shows us that we can look forward to new life, even in our most traumatic moments!!!
Title Image found at: http://www.wolfiewolfgang.com/2010/11/cartwheeling-back-to-health-and.html
Today’s Scripture: 1 John 1:1-2:2
We will look more closely at just a few of these verses:
2 The life was revealed, and we have seen, and we testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. 3 What we have seen and heard, we also announce it to you so that you can have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy can be complete.
Think about it for just a moment. It would not have been very difficult to believe in Christ just after the resurrection. Oh, it might have been difficult to believe, i suppose, but it had just happened! I mean, if there was a time when it was easier to believe, that would have been the time, right? If we read the gospel of John we find that Christ has appeared to the disciples. It seems assured that Christ has, indeed, risen from the dead!
But for the next few generations of Christians it must have been increasingly difficult. There were not any gospels for a while and stories were handed down, but Christ wasn’t there to be seen or touched.
The problem that becomes apparent in this scripture is that people were mixing up the message of Jesus Christ and so 1 John attempts to put the message of Christ back into order. “We have seen,” and “we testify…to you.” Those who knew something about the life and death of Jesus are writing these words to ensure future generations of Christians will understand the message of Christ.
Resurrection and New Life is not just for one time or one group of people. The message of New Life in Christ is for all times and all peoples. This letter is written to us that we might know Jesus’ love. Christ overcame death and so might we!
|image found at Vanderbilt: http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-processquery.pl?code=ACT&SortOrder=Title&LectionaryLink=BVigl|
After Mike shared about the loss of his own son, I realized that I am not nearly articulate enough to bring something that will be new and profound to this Holy Saturday. Please, if you haven’t already, read Mike Rayson’s words from Friday’s post, and then, I invite you to contemplate what it would mean to give up your own child. Seems impossible to most of us, doesn’t it. Take a moment to read some scripture of a father who was, indeed, ordered to give up his son:
Scripture: Genesis 22:1-18