Friday, March 28, 2008

Online Church book review

I've just read a booklet called "Online Church? First Steps Towards Virtual Incarnation", by Mark Howe. It is published by Grove Books, who's tagline is "Not the last word... but often the first". Mark has been involved in St Pixels, an online church, which you can find at stpixels.com. He writes, "St Pixels is one of the older and larger online churches, so it is likely that all online churches will face many of the issues that St Pixels has encountered".

He describes the profile of the participants, gathered via a survey. The typical "member" of St Pixels is a British female in her forties with experience of church leadership. Although it is an online church from time to time the members organise meetings amongst themselves. Like any church, in order to stop things descending into chaos, some leadership is necessary. A management team of eight people runs St Pixels.

I could tell you more, but that would mean that you might not buy the book! It is available on the bookstall, and if you buy it you can find out the answers to the questions:
What is online worship like?
How do you do group prayer online?
Does it do mission?
Is it really a proper church?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New website for Children's activities at our church

For the first time in my life I've bought a domain name: unionbaptistkids.org. I set it up so that the Children's activities at our church have a presence on the internet.

I got the idea when I went on a CPAS training day. Someone there said you could set up a website for your church in 5 minutes. He was talking about a blog really. Even though the blog format is fairly constrained, it's good enough for our purposes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Radio 4 is precious

Since I was a child Radio 4 has kept me company on sick days. I still remember as a child under 10 listening to the news and hearing pretty much every hour about some famous person dying, I forget who.

I always loved the Today programme with its fast moving mix of topical stories. One day however a couple of years ago though I got fed up with it when they had a story near the end of the programme about a singing statue of Perry Como. Maybe it was just because I was unwell, but that was just a waste of my time hearing about it (not that I've got anything against Perry Como). So instead I spent the day listening to XFm and thinking that although it wasn't much fun being ill, listening to this lovely indie rock was not a bad way to spend the day when you're not up to anything else.

Last week I was ill again and Radio 4 came to the rescue. Coincidentally I've been reading Radio: A True Love Story by Libby Purves, about her career in radio. She concludes, talking about a day listening to talk radio (presumably Radio 4):
Yet all the time that my mind dwelt on stethoscopes, sisterhood, Hindu Theology and public affairs I was phsycially busy, travelling and dealing with the irritating minutiae of daily life. Music radio mught have soothed or invigorated me, and inane disk-jocky chat could have been some sort of ersatz "company". But what this neo-Reithian kind of radio did was actually to double the usefulness and value of that day in my life, making me laugh and think and mentally explore. It make the dull physical jobs tolerable, and fitted me better for the mental ones to come. It make me more alive.
What could be more precious? Or more worth fighting for?
Like she said.