Tag Archives: social media

Facebook’s “On This Day” as a Spiritual Practice

By MaryAnn McKibben Dana, MDiv ’03

I don’t know exactly when Facebook rolled out its On This Day feature, but it’s become more and more a part of my daily social media routine. It’s been (mostly) a gift to read what was important to me one, two, three or more years ago.

Reactions to On This Day are mixed. Many friends and colleagues have expressed concern that the feature can cause unnecessary pain, especially if people aren’t prepared to be confronted by updates about a marriage that’s now over, or about the life of a beloved person who has died. Also, Facebook updates are non-linear, haphazard even. Dismay over terrorist attacks mingle with reports on our pets. Grief visits us, but it can be nestled between Buzzfeed videos and a recipe for brussels sprouts gratin. Which is part of the beauty of the thing–profound moments mingled with the sacred ordinary. But it can also create emotional whiplash. Continue reading Facebook’s “On This Day” as a Spiritual Practice

Pastoral Leadership and Social Media

By Adam Walker Cleaveland, Associate Pastor, Winnetka Presbyterian Church, Winnetka, IL

For as many years as I have been writing or talking about social media and the Church, I have been pretty adamant that pastors should only have one Facebook account.

There were a variety of reasons I took this hardline approach and even taught to other church professionals. For one thing, I personally think it would be too confusing to try to manage two accounts. And there is always the possibility of forgetting which account you’re signed into, and posting something to the wrong account. It just sounded like too much work to me. Continue reading Pastoral Leadership and Social Media

Alum Develops App to Assist Those in Need

San Diego, CA – Sojourners recently sought the 50 “Greatest Social Justice Leaders We’ve Never Heard Of” to participate in “The Summit” at Georgetown University. Those leaders included Columbia Theological Seminary graduate Dr. Bill Jenkins (DMin ’85).

Founded in 1970 by Jim Wallis, Sojourners is the Washington DC community of leaders who care about changing the world through faith and justice. The Summit was their inaugural gathering of leaders from across the globe on issues affecting poverty, immigration, racial justice, women and girls rights, and the environment.

Jenkins, 66, who grew up in rural Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, seemed unlikely to become either an urban minister or social justice advocate. But the United Methodist minister is setting a new model for how struggling urban churches may transition into new life and mission as urban ministry centers. He is also developing a revolutionary way churches, charities and social agencies can work together to meet the needs of the hungry, homeless, helpless and hurting. Continue reading Alum Develops App to Assist Those in Need

Responding to Guns Everywhere

By Drew Stockstill (MDiv ’12)

If we are Facebook friends or if you follow me on Twitter, you have probably noticed an onslaught of stories on gun violence ricocheting through your newsfeed on a daily basis. Earlier this year, my senior pastor Baron Mullis and I along with hundreds of other Georgia clergy stood against legislation that would have required us to allow guns in our places of worship. In the process, I realized there is much I have to learn about the actual nature of gun violence in our state.

I grew up in south Georgia where hunting is popular and even though I did not hunt, I did enjoy shooting (clay) skeet. Many of my friends and family own guns. And perhaps like many of you, I have personal connections to victims of gun violence. Still, I felt I needed to become more mindful of how guns are truly experienced in our communities, so I made a personal commitment: to read every story of gun violence in Georgia for a month, to post the story on Facebook with the #gunseverywhere hashtag, and to tweet the story on Twitter to both Governor Deal and candidate Jason Carter. Continue reading Responding to Guns Everywhere

What If Jesus Disagrees?

By Michael Thompson, Director of Communications

We are definitively in a season of disagreement. On any given day, I could drop just a few otherwise neutral words onto social media about the latest Supreme Court rulings, or decisions made at the General Assembly of the PC(USA), or even the World Cup. (We can’t even agree whether to call it soccer or football!) Rather immediately, I can expect to see my newsfeed light up with reactions from many sides–some facetious, but many filled with bitterness.

I am aware that people will likely disagree with me, and I can accept that. My biggest fear is that my friends, who often don’t know each other, may be hurtful as they engage the issue rather than the person. I generally have a policy for my little space on social media that we welcome intelligent disagreement, but will not tolerate rudeness, disrespect, or otherwise hurtful comments.

But we are passionate people, myself included. I want to be right. I strive to be thoughtful. And yet, I wonder sometimes, “What if Jesus disagrees with me?” Continue reading What If Jesus Disagrees?