March Newsletter Article

Giving Up Digital Media to
Pray, Read, Worship,Study, Serve, Give and Tell

Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
You gave me room when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer

                                               Psalm 4:1 (NRSV)
If, when you hear the term “Facebook” you picture a large coffee table photo book of different faces, this newsletter article is not likely for you.  If I told you,  “I just “tweeted” someone”,  and you immediately picture me dressed as Big Bird from Sesame Street this newsletter article is not likely for you.  If the term “blackberry” makes your mouth water for pie,  this newsletter article likely isn’t for you.  Please read on anyway, and then pass it along to someone you suspect might have understood this first paragraph.  If it helps let them know there is a digital copy of this newsletter on our website.

Our world has changed we do not communicate the same way we used to.  When was the last time you received a hand written letter in the mail.  The last person you wished a happy birthday, how did you do it?  I will admit that I just posted a quick message on their wall. (If you didn’t understand that last sentence, please return to paragraph one).  We can lament the loss of more personal forms of engagement and we should, but if you were to study the Psalms of lament[i] you would realize that lament is more than grief.  When you express your pain before God you enter an honest and meaningful relationship with God which then allows you to see what God is doing in the world and helps carry us forward into the future.

So if digital media is our future, and it seems apparent that the rest of the Stratford community has come to that realization maybe we should move beyond lamenting the old and see how God is already working within the new.

What is unique about digital media is that no matter what you do with it, be it a comment on facebook, a quick tweet to a friend, or a picture embedded in a blog article, it is there for all time.  You may think you can delete but if it left your personal electronic device for even a second—you can be sure there is a digital permanent copy of it, somewhere in the world.  Perhaps we should be aware, a careless indiscretion could do damage in the future.  As an example, more and more employers are already checking the facebook profiles of job candidates.

As our world changes the Good News of Jesus can only become more powerful.  We can use digital media to tell the story of the gift of grace in Christ.  Tweet of God who has declared all of us loved and blessed, forgiven and reconciled.  Blog that our slate (digital and otherwise) is wiped clean before God.

TTYL, Vicar Steve

[i] Examples of Psalms of Personal Lament include: Psalms 3, 4, 5, 7, 9-10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 36, 39, 40:12-17, 41, 42-43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 64, 69, 70, 71, 77, 86, 89, 120, 139, 141, 142.

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