Saturday, December 18, 2010

Adventual Ponderings on Social Media

Over the past few weeks I have had more international contact regarding the Church than at any time in my life. The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has brought me into conversations on line about the state of constituent churches (Canada, Scotland, Guatemala, New Zealand, etc). Also I met a young woman lawyer from Uganda who attended my local parish. I have also, because of Facebook, read articles from Uganda, Kenya, and other places in which there is a significant Anglican presence.

My global involvement has flowered in just a matter of a few months and I think this is a good thing. After the missionary efforts of my youth, I was always frustrated that I could not get any news about international matters in my local newspapers. Even wars and coups were not reported and I would wonder about the welfare of my friends. Only the Christian Science Monitor provided any insight into the lives of people around the globe. Now social media does it in a flash.

In a matter of seconds from the floor of the Senate, Twitter reported the repeal of DADT today. Now in a matter of moments I can hear about things happening in South Africa or Bangladesh. Today I had comments in French on my blog—someone who had read my post through on-line translations. The ability to communicate now is absolutely astounding to someone who born during WWII and grew up during the Cold War.

And all of this makes me stop and think about what are my responsibilities as a blogger to a greater audience. When the woman from Uganda came, I sat down and talked with her. She was very much in favor of the legislation against LGBT people in her country. I identified myself as lesbian and she had to stop and think. Later she talked with her host who opened the Scriptures and discussed why the Leviticus passages do not apply to today. The following week I saw her again at a church function and we talked a bit more. She shared how corrupt the Church has become in her country. She knew that money that had been sent to support the Church never made it past the bishop’s discretionary account. It broke my heart to hear how she had faith but not in the Church and was being lured into more and more evangelical churches in her nations because the witness of the Anglican Church there was so abusive.

I have also listened to the politicking of those from the General Synod in England. I chuckle to myself to listen to the “niceties” of British ways and yet know that anything done in the C of E will have a momentous effect on how we understand our church in this country. I would hate to see us “put out” of the Anglican Communion simply because of the Anti-American sentiment or the desire to support the Archbishop of Canterbury with is “project”. I would also hate to see the Anglican Communion governed by a Covenant- especially this one that fails to see the integrity of individual churches. But I would also hate to see a few corrupt bishops be responsible for tearing down the familial ties that we have had for the past 100+ years.

So what is my responsibility in this global information society when I blog. Am I just promulgating Americanism, or am I promoting what I understand the Gospel of caring for my fellow human beings? Can I with integrity talk justice to a woman lawyer from Uganda who will be compelled to uphold a law that will oppress LGBT persons in her own country without it being just Americanism? I think so. But it requires my being able to listen to the needs of people in other nations. It means that I must log into the news papers in Uganda and Kenya and in Bangladesh. And even then I must listen to the voice of the people.

It is not simple to keep shalom. And yet that is what our Lord taught. I, from my recliner must reach out to people who are far away to welcome the Holy Family. The story does not get lost in the technological age. The story just calls for us to reach farther.


Fran said...

Responsibility... awesome responsibility. What a thought provoking post Lauren. Thank you. Much to ponder here.

Songbird said...

Great post, thank you.
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