Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finding, sharing faith on Facebook

Welcome to the online church/synagogue/mosque of the 21st century.

Here you can follow congregants' "tweets" about sermons delivered at Westwinds Community Church by Michigan pastor John Voelz.

Log on to Texas pastor Laura Heikes' podcast sermons -- one posted recently when swine flu worries shut down worship at First United Methodist Church in New Braunfels.

And in this new spiritual landscape, it's easy to find out what Roanoke College Lutherans are doing. Just "friend" Virginia Synod Youth Programs Director David Delaney, who organizes events and posts announcements via Facebook from his Salem office.

"Facebook is now the primary mode of communication with young adults," according to Delaney, who said he has about 1,200 Facebook friends. "If I want to get something out to the college-aged crowd, the first thing I do is send out a message through Facebook."

E-mail, Delaney said, is now his second choice.

From prayer tweets to YouTube religious education videos, faith groups across the country and in the Roanoke and New River valleys are using online social networking in the millennia-old pursuit of evangelism and ministry.

And none of those tools has proven more powerful than Facebook.

Launched in 2004, today the site claims 200 million subscribers around the world, who can connect to friends, family and even strangers. Friends can then invite each other to events and parties, share interactive photo albums and video and audio files, even play a Facebook version of Scrabble.

more here-

1 comment:

PseudoPiskie said...

When a virtual friend died, his friends organized a memorial service using Facebook and a blog. I attended the "real" funeral then watched on my iPhone on the way home while the others conducted their online service complete with a virtual eucharist. The priest from the church recorded the homily so the online folks heard the same thing I did. It was odd to see "and also with you" and other responses appearing on my iPhone.