Is Your Church Using Social Media…

…well? And that matters. Because it’s not just about using social media, but using it well. That is, responding to the Digital Age isn’t just a matter of having a Facebook page or semi-lame (or even pretty good) website. Rather, it’s thinking with care about the variety of channels of communication that are available to us today in order to support our people in their Christian walk. Of course, the very thing that makes this moment so amazing in terms of our ability to share the Gospel and equip people for lives of faith – the nearly uncountable number of communication channels available to us – is precisely that which makes...

Baptism of Our Lord B: Baptism & Blessing

Dear Partner in Preaching, I want to start with a question: how often do you think about your baptism? Perhaps your family reminded you of its importance by celebrating the anniversary of your baptism each year and so baptism has always been important to you. Or maybe you learned to appreciate it later, at confirmation or sometime as an adult. Or maybe your appreciation of baptism was deepened during your study at seminary and now you think of it every time you wash. Or maybe you know the theological significance of baptism but, truth be told, don’t think of it all that often. (Don’t worry, I’m not judging, just asking.) Now I want you...

A Social Media Christmas

I’m always intrigued by how social media is shaping the way we make and share meaning. Usually, that takes the form of thinking about how various elements of social media or the larger digital culture can help us share the good news. But from time to time it’s also fun to “look back” and imagine what our forebears would have done with social media. Last year I found “The Digital Story of the Nativity” quite fun in that regard; this year it’s “A Social Network Christmas.” Without wanting to spoil too much, I think my favorite moment was when 23 people “unfriend” Joseph for...

Tweet Fiction

The following eleven-minute TED Talk by Andrew Alexander combines two of my great interests: 1) story-telling and 2) changes in information technology. In particular, Alexander, a writer, founder of the Twitter Fiction Festival, and member of the News and Journalism Parternship team at...

Retelling the Christmas Story Dec10

Retelling the Christmas Story

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the Christmas story, I think of, well, the Christmas story. There’s a kind of seamless whole that I have in my head made up of angels and shepherds and Mary and Joseph and the baby in the manger and the stable animals and the star and magi and all the rest. What I don’t think about is how I learned this story; how, that is, it was told to me. Certainly I learned a lot of it from the Bible, hearing the various – and distinct – portions of the story read from Matthew and Luke. But I also learned it from the Christmas carols. And from the manifold crèches in all shapes and sizes that I’ve...