Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Social Networking Transforming the Way Churches Interact with Parishioners

From Benzinga-

Churches have over the last two decades faced dramatically declining memberships, but that trend may be reversing with the increasing use of social media.

The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a pioneer in social networking among churches. In 2002, it received the first of two grants from Lilly Endowment, Inc. for a Pastoral Excellence Project. The project sought innovative ways to support and develop pastoral leaders, lay and ordained, especially those in remote communities. EDS staff decided to think big: how could they reach across America?

They have developed web-conferencing and DVD's, to transmit important speeches, classes, and courses to those interested in a deeper understanding of theology across the United States. It has transformed the way some teach. Professor Fredrica Harris Thompsett, a globally recognized historian and theologian, says she loves using video as a teaching mechanism, “It's a whole new way of engaging with students.”

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