Browsing articles tagged with " Facebook"
Aug 23, 2013

Extravagance UCC needs to learn from history


As long as it is “on the internet” it must be cool, right? That’s why the United Church of Christ wants to start an online congregation by the name of Extravagance UCC.
I’m hip and online and all but I want to play devil’s advocate: It’s not gonna work, sorry.

1.5 years ago a bunch of Presbyterian leaders tried the exact same thing. I wrote about that here: Church Online?
8 months later the whole thing collapsed into an uninspiring existence as a mere facebook group. Now I can’t even find that anymore. Read about the demise here: Not a Facebook Church

Like its predecessor Extravagance UCC starts with a questionnaire. Here are my answers:

What are your hopes, dreams and ideas for Extravagance UCC?
My hope would be that the people involved with this program reach out to Bruce Reyes-Chow and the former leadership of “Church Online” – the failed Presbyterian version of Extravagance.

What gifts, skills and interests would you bring to Extravagance UCC?
I promise my constructive criticism from the sidelines, like the following sacramental reservation:
One of the biggest concerns that I have would be a sacramental one. The signs of Baptism and Holy Communion ought to be tangible. In order to be a real mainline church you ought to be able to abide by ecumenical agreements on Eucharist and Baptism where the elements play a role that cannot be accomplished without physically touching them. I’m not saying an online church needs to be put on hold until beaming is invented but the body of Christ must be tangible at times.

In what ways do you currently participate in geographically dispersed online communities?
Groups on major social networks that have very narrow purposes.

How would you participate in Extravagance UCC?
As a bystander

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Oct 5, 2012

Not a Facebook Church

Bruce Reyes-Chow came out with an intriguing vision on February 28th:
“What if a church decided that the discipline of following Christ and building genuine Christian community could be lived out without everyone having to actually be in one place at one time?
What if a church unapologetically leveraged online tools to be a community no longer bound by architecture, time and physical proximity?
What if a church that met online believed that even a historic religious tradition like the Presbyterian Church (USA) can be expressed in new ways?
Essentially . . . can church be church when it is primarily lived and manifested online?”

I was excited and shared my encouraging comments as well as a sacramental reservation:
“One of the biggest concerns that I have would be a sacramental one. The signs of Baptism and Holy Communion ought to be tangible. In order to be a real mainline church you ought to be able to abide by ecumenical agreements on Eucharist and Baptism where the elements play a role that cannot be accomplished without physically touching them. I’m not saying an online church needs to be put on hold until beaming is invented but the body of Christ must be tangible at times.”

Well, on September 18th, Bruce effectively resigned from the project:
“First, let me say that I am feeling a little sheepish about not being as consistent and committed to this church online adventure that I had hoped to be. More than usual, life has been a little overwhelming and my own long-term discernment has been unexpectedly paralyzing.”

At this point the once great vision leads an uninspiring existence as a mere facebook group. I still hold that it takes a proprietary online sanctuary that is a sacred space. A simple facebook group cannot accomplish that.

Where do you think “church online” could go?

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Mar 1, 2012

Education Costs

A friend shared the following video on facebook:

Oh, those crazy assumptions that education is free in Germany! IT IS NOT!

The system works slightly differently: Americans take on debt to pay their individual tuition back. In Germany all taxpayers are your lender and you will pay them back through extremely high taxes:
Income Tax
Let’s do some math here:
1. The average student loan debt is $25,250
Over 30 years of professional life that amounts to $841.67 per year
2. The average federal income tax paid is $6275.18 per year.
3. Now applying the American numbers to the German logic you would pay zero student loan, saving you $841.67 per year. Also you would pay roughly double the income tax, costing you $12,550.36 per year.

In what kind of thinking is paying $500 more per month cheaper?

Okay, granted, foreign students, using the system that is paid by locals really fare better and I guess that is what makes the above clip worthwhile.

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Feb 28, 2012

Church Online?

Bruce Reyes-Chow and others are starting a new Presbyterian Church:
A Church Online

“For a while now I have had an inkling that the “social media amplifies the local church” paradigm could be flipped upside-down resulting in a powerful way to be church.” he explains. I find that to be very inspiring. And I also filled out the attached survey. Here are my answers:

Gut reaction to the formation of a church that meets online.
– Def worth exploring.

Concerns: Why a church that meets online IS NOT a good idea?
– Just as a local church can no longer be exclusively physical, a church cannot be exclusively online. I guess at least an annual meeting will evolve.

Possibilities: Why a church that meets online IS a great idea?
– Because it provides access to progressive Christianity in remote regions.

Questions: What issues must be addressed before launching?
– Can you allow dual membership with a local church or do folks need to cut physical ties in order to become an online member?

Besides a blog, Twitter and Facebook, what social media platforms do you think this church should use?
– Those can just be tools for outreach. It takes a proprietary online sanctuary that is a sacred space. A simple facebook group cannot accomplish that.

A great name for a church such as this would be…
– PC 2.0

One of the biggest concerns that I have would be a sacramental one. The signs of Baptism and Holy Communion ought to be tangible. In order to be a real mainline church you ought to be able to abide by ecumenical agreements on Eucharist and Baptism where the elements play a role that cannot be accomplished without physically touching them. I’m not saying an online church needs to be put on hold until beaming is invented but the body of Christ must be tangible at times.

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Oct 28, 2011

Social Media Break evaluated

This past week I have been on a social media hiatus. I did not personally log onto twitter or facebook for seven days.

Emotions:
:-) It was not as hard. I did not feel any withdrawal symptoms, just the occasional inconvenience of not having people’s email or phone numbers handy without using facebook as my telephone book. But then again, it was only a week.

News:
RSS I do not miss any news that are important to me due to a lack of facebook or twitter. Everything I need to know I learn through the 67 RSS feeds I am currently subscribed to. I guess I am simply an old-school blogger.

Twitter vs. Facebook:
In an earlier post I reflected on my use of facebook versus my use of twitter. With facebook being about the people I am really engaging with, turns out I do not really need to access twitter personally.

Conclusion:
facebook is useful for building and maintaining relationships. Facebook is not a news source or pastime for me. I will remain a power user.
Twitter does not serve my communication or information needs. I will only use it as one outlet for my publications.

Klout
Taking this one week break hurt my Klout. Klout is the standard measure of online influence and mine dropped 1.35 points. Not a good thing. I am glad to be back.

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Oct 22, 2011

It’s Complicated

Back in February Facebook added LGBT-friendly relationship status options. For many people “It’s Complicated” is what their relationship status looks and feels like. Same thing for Jonah and God. Look at this messy relationship in today’s reading Jonah 4:1-11.

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Oct 19, 2011

Social Media Break (7 days)


Starting now I will take a one week break from my personal twitter and facebook activity. All my publishing here on this and other blogs will still appear on both platforms. It is just that I do not personally log onto them for seven days. This is a good test of how time-consuming my style of social-networking really is. Until next week I can be reached via email or telephone.

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Jun 18, 2011

Twitter vs. Facebook

They are both huge and I need them both even though I have never been able to describe what they are good for. Now I found the quote I’ve needed:

“I liken Facebook to a class reunion.
I liken Twitter to a huge roundtable discussion.”

Or even more concise in my own words:

“Facebook: Who?
Twitter: What?”

Please follow me on twitter and facebook!

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Feb 17, 2011

Facebook Adds LGBT-Friendly Relationship Status Options

Rainbow FacebookMashable reports that effective immediately, U.S. residents can choose between “In a domestic partnership” and “In a civil union,” along with the usual roster of relationship options. That is pretty neat but I wonder why they limit the options in the first place:

– In your Basic Information you can only be Female or Male and
only be interested in Women and/or Men.
– For Featured People you now have 11 options to describe your relationship status. For Family relationships you have 16 options but in-laws, foster or step-relationships are not even permissible.
– The Philosophy department is where facebook actually lets wisdom rule: Your Religion and your Political Views you can enter as free text.

Please, Mark Zuckerberg, stick with your Basic Information:
About – I’m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share.
Personal Interests – openness, making things that help people connect and share what’s important to them, revolutions, information flow, minimalism

Let people decide for themselves how they relate to one another: FREE TEXT FOR ALL!

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Dec 27, 2010

Read the Bible Daily

My New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is to Read the Bible Daily. For that I am going to use the Daily Reading Plan by the American Bible Society. This blog and a support group at my church shall help me.
If you want to read along, here is how:
The Daily Readings on the web
The Daily Readings on facebook
The Daily Readings on twitter
I guess for the most part I will use the New Revised Standard Version.
Every now and then I find The Message to be useful.
Please join me on this journey!

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