Monday, June 30, 2014

Social Media Sunday: coming out as Episcopalian

Yesterday was Social MEdia Sunday, in which Episcopal communities across the country were encouraged to engage Social Media using the hashtags #SMSunday and #Episcopal.

For a time, both those tags were leading trends on twitter.  Quite an accomplishment!

People posted selfies and notes from their churches.  At St Paul's Cathedral, San Diego, the Dean first invited us to try some Real Life social networking, by having a 1-min conversation with the person next to us in the pew, and then, after an excellent sermon (she generally knocks 'em out of the park), gave us a few minutes to text or facebook or tweet our takeaway message, with the added hashtags #stpaulcathedral.

Whose voice are you really hearing?
What am I called to sacrifice for my relationship with God? 
Where is the cup of cold water for the abandoned children?
We all held up our cell phones while she held up her tablet to take a snapshot.

Gimmicky?  Sure, in one way.  But in another way, it was very powerful.  All over the country, people Came Out as Epsicopalians, and shared something about the communities they care about.  And the photos were fun, full of smiles and laughter.

I tweeted on both my twitter accounts, and I'm sure that some of my followers were Very Surprised that I was in church.  It will be interesting to see if I get any responses.

You can see a neat sampling here of tweets and photos.  It goes on and on!

Now, over on FB, I did see one snarky comment on someone's thread, complaining that there was nothing new in the photos.  Same old church, and it doesn't work, was the commenter's complaint.  But of course, she missed the point.  For many people, church DOES work. There are growing, vibrant communities with a lot to offer. There is an audience outside for what goes on inside.

And on Social Media Sunday, the doors were thrown open to the outside world to say, Hey!   This is who we are.  

Well done, church!


Donna L Turner said...

Speaking of "coming out," I noticed after the fact, that one of the photos I posted included the male couple sitting in front of me, arms around each other. Oh, well, the truth is "out." My church loves everybody and welcomes them to be who they are.

This was a fun experiment and we all learned from it. Next year will be way better!

IT said...

Donna, that's exactly the point. Those pictures are very important...especially because they are nothing special, but business as usual!