July 1, 2014

Saying 'Yes' to Trying Something New

This past Sunday was Social Media Sunday, an effort began by Laura Catalano and Carolyn Clement that, judging by my Twitter and Facebook feeds, gained quite a bit of traction. Everyone from my dad (who is an Episcopal priest in Joplin, Missouri) to the Presiding Bishop participated. You can see some of those tweets from around the country here and here.

However you may feel about using social media during church, you can probably appreciate the community supporting each other in this endeavor. I am happy to see the Episcopalians sharing and speaking to each other across great distances.

In an earlier post I mentioned Richard Beck’s thoughts on using social media as a sacrament, and I think you can see this in yesterday’s posts. The photos and prayers were signs of life and grace, evidence of the wide variety of passionate people who attend Episcopal churches every Sunday and who are doing all they can to spread the Gospel.

This, I think, was also an example of many people saying yes to trying something new. Maybe some found that using social media was disruptive and will never tweet during the sermon again, but I think a willingness to try new things is part of a healthy church. Many Episcopalians have our critical voices turned way up, leading us to say no to anything that isn't tried and true or has not been thoroughly theologically vetted. And yet, sometimes I think we should simply say yes.

Episcopalians tweeting about worship may not bring throngs of unchurched people into our sanctuaries (and who knows, maybe it will), but it can be a sign of life in the community. I am glad that so many took the chance to present evidence of a strong and diverse communion of two million members who are willing to support each other and try out something new.