Hallo again to all.
The sharia situation in Nigeria continues to threaten Christianity and freedom of religion in that largest of Anglican countries (there are more churchgoing Anglicans in Nigeria than in any other country, almost 10 times as many as in the US). See our News Centre for the latest news that we've been able to find.
We welcome to the web this week St Mary's parish and the Cathedral of St Paul, both in the Diocese of Wellington, New Zealand. Also in New This Week are Hong Kong parish web sites (both Chinese only) and some new parish sites in England. Do have a look at St Aldates in Oxford: fast loading, well designed, easy to use, and containing all manner of good information.
There's a standard pattern by which society (and organisations, like our church, that are members of it) adapts to innovation. Perhaps it's best summed up by a quotation that from the turbulent 1960's, when an artist told a reporter: 'This isn't imitation wood, it's real plastic.'
When a new technology comes along, people first grasp it as a substitute for an older one. Only in time do they recognize and adapt to it. Frozen food wasn't just a new way of storing food; it enabled an entirely new lifestyle in which people did not have to plan for their meals. Television isn't just radio with a picture; it's a completely different medium. Nuclear weapons weren't just weapons of greater power, they are capable of destroying most life on the planet. And the internet isn't just a new way of doing an old style of communication, it's something entirely new.
Resolution B029, one of the results of ECUSA's General Convention, points out that the Episcopal Church in the USA needs to pay attention not only to traditional media, but also to Braille, sign language, and Internet. While Braille and sign language are critically important to the blind and deaf communities, the Internet is important to everyoneand becoming more so every week. Fifty years from now, today's broadcast television will seem as quaint as Depression newsreels seem to us. Whatever the Internet evolves into, it will displace or radically change telephones, television, radio, newspapers, and magazines.
Following on the heels of Resolution B029 (but entirely unrelated), ECUSA announced its new Director of Communications; this position has not existed until now. Oddly, the new director doesn't seem to have, as far as we can find, an Internet footprint. We hope that that he can help ECUSA make proper use of this most important of communications media (without getting too lost in learning Braille). Meanwhile we watch, sadly, as the specialty industries that have served the church for a century or more struggle to adapt to the ICE principle: Internet Changes Everything.
We're updated the URL for All Saints' Church, Torresdale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the rector just celebrated his 40th anniversary as head of that parish. Good heavens, that means that he was already there when two young men named Nixon and Kennedy were debating which of them was to become president. Though he's been there for a long time, you'll note that he's mastered email and the web ...
See you all next week.