Examples for sharing spiritual resources on social media, such as the prayers on the website Sacred Space, were discussed at the ECIC 2009.
As social networks become more and more popular, churches still struggle to find the best ways of using these new features to communicate with their members and spread the gospel.
More than 40 representatives of churches and church-related organizations from a dozen different countries seized the opportunity of the 14th European Christian Internet Conference (ECIC) in Helsinki and Stockholm, 7-10 June 2009, to discuss their experiences and best practices in using these new tools, such as Twitter and Facebook, for their work.
Among the projects presented were a social networking platform used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia to offer pastoral care to its church members, especially to Latvian migrants living in Ireland; a Church of Sweden fundraising campaign based on social media; as well as ideas for sharing spiritual resources. Examples are the prayers offered on the website Sacred Space, run by Irish Jesuits, and the World Council of Churches’ ecumenical prayer cycle.
As most young people nowadays use social media to keep in touch with friends and family, most ECIC participants agreed that the church should be present in these media if it wants to reach out to them.
However, as Terhi Paananen from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland said in her presentation of trainings for church workers and parishioners on how to use social media in their work and in church life, “it is not enough just to go where the people go. We need to have a mission and a purpose: to help, to encourage, to teach.”
European Christian Internet Conference (ECIC) – http://www.ecic.org/
WCC web office – http://www.oikoumene.org/en/programmes/communication/web-office-and-visual-arts.html
Share the ecumenical prayer cycle on your blog or your website! – http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/prayer-cycle/share.html