Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Church & Technology

It seems hard to imagine, now, but there was a time in my life when I was not working towards being a priest. In fact, from the time I was 5 until about 6 years ago, I was dead set on being an engineer. I even went so far as to get a Bachelor's degree in computer engineering. Obviously, my life ended up on a different path, but working with computers and electronics is still a passion of mine.

I am always interested in ways church and technology can overlap.  We have all kinds of audio and visual equipment at our disposal.  Wireless microphones to help ensure that the congregation can hear the readings, sermons, prayers and other important parts of the service.  This is especially useful in larger congregations where those without a voice that carries might go unheard in the back.  There are also audio amplifiers to be used by those who have difficulty hearing.  Some churches use projectors and screens in place of bulletins and hymnals.

We also have church websites and blogs (much like the one you are currently reading) to help extend the reach of the church beyond its immediate location.  One technology that is perhaps highly under utilized in the church is social media.  Yes, I'm referring to things like Facebook and Twitter.  Jennifer McNally posted an article on Episcopal CafĂ© called More Facebook for Lent!  Check out what she has to say on how Facebook can be used to help build community.  Then, head on over to Saint Timothy's Facebook page (or your own church's page) and continue to build community even when we are not physically together.

If you still need some convincing that it is okay to use "technology" in church, please remember that light bulbs and pipe organs were considered technological innovations.  There was even a time when we needed technology (in the form of the printing press) in order to have the Bible available in our own language.

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