Some thoughts on church,
and postmodernism,
and how it is that we find integrity and wholeness
in our varied forms of worship
and understandings of God.

An Entry Point

I've organized this blog chronologically from its inception, which is backwards from how most blogs are organized. Basically that means that the dates you see for each post to the right are imaginary. Don't worry about it. They show up in the right order...think of the "older posts" link as a "next" button.

And a BIG THANKS! to those who were willing to be interviewed, and who offered suggestions. You're really good sports, and I'm glad to know you (even though I've only ever really met Jay Voorhees, and I'm not sure that we did more than show up at the same seminar once).


Preliminary Thoughts on Church of Fools and St. Pixels

(see Interview with Jay Voorhees) I'm not surprised the Church of Fools experiment did not continue. It wasn't really constructed such that results could be tracked, and I'm not sure there were any real clear expectations to begin with. This creates a real disincentive for the funding body to keep paying for the bandwidth it took to run it. However, there are some long term benefits and some positive ideas that have come from Church of Fools. As Jay said, anecdotal evidence suggests that a few people found a connection through COF that hopefully motivated them to seek a relationship with a "real world" church. In addition, in reading the comments on the website, even the current 2D single-user interface has provided some meaningful space for connecting with God through prayer. The 3D St. Pixels environment seems clunky and antiquated compared to Second Life, and no wonder: it's 3 years old, which is centuries in Internet years. Text-based worship experiences there seem forced and a bit hard to follow; on occasion there are more comments than one can make sense of, and sometimes they just don't seem to make sense. I did not feel like a part of the community, but rather like a voyeur with many choices as to who I might be peeping at. In other words, it felt like a group of people each having individual experiences rather than a shared experience. These are churches online in the sense that they are intentional spaces where Christian worship may take place, but there does not seem to be meaningful deeper relationships. Everything that happens appears to happen in public space, making the worship service into an interactive performance rather than an encounter with God and others that has the power to transform lives. There is no meaningful missional emphasis, and I am finding it difficult to imagine how one might form truly incarnational relationships without some flesh-and-blood meetings. On the other hand, they made us of the technology of their time to attempt to reach a new field for evangelism. One could wish for some user data to know whether they were attracting those who were already meaningfully connected to church or those who find themselves somehow alienated from brick and mortar churches.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I am a United Methodist (UM) pastor, married to a UM pastor, which makes life entertaining from time to time. I am a newly minted D. Min--yes, that's Rev. Dr. Anne, to you. I am a learner and teller of stories, looking at how we share faith and relationships. Any views I express here are not necessarily United Methodist views: they are mine.