Sunday, June 29, 2008

Electronic Evangelization

I received a call from my pastor last week..
. . .well, o.k. . .
one of my pastors.
The truth is,
I've been practicing tri-parrobics.. . .
. . . sometimes, during the school year, even quadra-parrobics. .
but that's another blog entry.

my pastor called me because the new parish website was finally up.
It took a really long time to move that project
and I could just hear the pride in his voice.
I didn't want to pop his bubble,
but it really was only a homepage.
The project took a long time,
for a variety of reasons.
And I could tell he was just so happy.

He called because he was asking me how to use Youtube.
How do you upload?
How do get the code?
Do you need an account?

I remember discussing using youtube
for Electronic Evangelization with this particular website committee
quite some time ago.
The response from one of the members
was that we should use Godtube instead.
I remember saying we should use them all:
Youtube, Godtube. Google video. . .
The thing is,
I don't think everyone understood why I said that.
As usual,
I was thinking way outside the box.
Way, way outside the box.

So, I've decided that I will use this blog
to give a step by step for using Youtube.
And I'm going to that for a variety of reasons.
First, because my pastor asked me how to do this.

But mostly,
I'm going to do this
because I think most parishes still don't quite get
the idea of using the internet
for viral marketing.
Let alone, for Electronic Evangelization.

I think many
don't have a clue as to just why places
like MySpace are reaping success.
But more,
many don't know how to use web 2.0
for Electronic Evangelization.
I dare to say
that many pastors and parish lay leaders
don't even know what web 2.0 is!

And another thing,
Blogs are VERY important in this online age we live in.
Parishes need to blog everything.
Blog religious ed news.
Blog the pastors column.
Blog social ministry updates.
A blog will give you more "space"
than a traditional printed bulletin.
I mean,
the content is already created every week.
Just click it into a blog.

Blogs will get traffic faster than a traditional website.
Mostly because they are updated often.
Google likes to see frequent updates.
The more updates, the better.

And blogs are interactive.
People can comment and react
to all things written.

But blogs also offer other benefits,
which I will also detail in future blog entries.
it's about Electonic Evangelization.
And using tools that are so readily available to us.

You're probably wondering what the heck I'm
rambling on about here.
I've decided that I'm going to do a series of blog entries,
a Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, if you will.
Not just to give a step-by-step of using Youtube.
But why we should be using these online places
for Electronic Evangelization.

These places:
Youtube, Myspace, Blogger. .
They're all FREE!
Why not use them?
it's a great way to get young people involved
in a parish ministry.
Most teens already have a Youtube and/or Myspace.
Most teens know some basic html.
I know my 14, soon to be 15,-year-old
knows way more html than I do!

So, use their teenage knowledge.
Invite them into an electronic ministry. . . .
. . .The creativity could be phenomenal. . .

. . .oops! . . .
I jumped out of the box again. . .

Oh. . .and somewhere along the way
I'll write about using the internet
for fundraisers.
I think many parishes may be missing
an opportunity in this arena as well.
But first,
we really need to learn other things.

Now, don't get me wrong.
I am in no way suggesting that we replace
good old fashioned parish life and ministry with the internet.
Far from it!

What I am suggesting
is that we use the internet
to our benefit.

Oh, still another thing,
If your parish has a very special group or ministry,
they really should have both their own blog and website.
For example,
one of the parishes I frequent has a dance troupe.
They, my friends, are quite deserving
of their own online home.
And this for a variety of reasons.
But, again, I'll detail why in the weeks to come.

Enough of Rubi's Ramblings for one morning.
I have mass at two parishes today.
So. . today I'm only practicing the art
of being bi-parroquial!

Be sure to check back for this
Electronic Evangelization series!


Anonymous said...

Well said, Sister....

The Church would be well served to utilize the Internet to attract (potential) future parishioners by creating (and, just as importantly, maintaining)a website. They should be more than just tools to find out who is reading or serving or (fill in the blank) next weekend. Many parishes in our Vicariate have outstanding websites that are maintained on a regular basis with a plethora of information.

The cost of doing so is minimal compared to the cost if we do not.

Successful organizations are just that because they seek those with a desire to serve - and then permit them to do so...Time, talent, treasure....

If we truly desire to stop closing churches and, instead, again begin to build them as we once did, we must be open minded and possess Spirit-led teachable spirits to learn new ways and all that comes with them. But, with any organization, it starts at the top.

Electronic Evangelization in the Catholic Church will only succeed if we first allow basic Evangelization- the Primary Mission of the Catholic Church and ALL of its members- to exist. First things first.

We can't invite people in if we're not certain of what we're inviting them to...

Change is not a popular message, as we see by what happened to Jesus found out 2000 years ago...Not much has changed in the interim....

May God continue to bless us this day and beyond as we live from the Precious Blood of His Son....

The Bus Driver

Rubi said...

. . . me thinks the bus driver should drive his own blog. ..

. . . .you have a lot to say and your words make people think. . . .even if it be as such that we are the only ones to read each others writings!. . . .

. . .and you are right in saying that first, before an electronic evangelization, we must have a basic evangelization. . .

. . . .rest assured I know what it feels like to have a desire to serve and then be left out in the cold.. . never called to help out on a particular event or project even though I signed up for it. . .showing up anyway and then told that the group already has "everything in control.".. .(an interesting choie of words. . .)

. .. I know what it feels like to be on fire and then be told that I should back off because I have ulterior motives. . . as if anyone could possibly know everything that goes on inside my head, know my reasons, my desires or motives. . .If they did, they would know that my motives are sincere and always have been for the greater good. . ..but, alas, many a so called Christian are mind readers, I guess. . .and that's one gift that I do not have!

The truth of the matter is, I tend to vision and to dream really big and truly think, as I wrote in this blog entry, out of the box. . . .

. . .An evangelized community that recognized the gifts of her members would never allow such things as the above to happen. Indeed, would even encourage creative thinking. . .You see, the Spirit is creative. The Holy Spirit is pure poetry. . .but, there I go thinking outside of the proverbial box. . . again. . .

Thankfully, I'm smart enough to take my gifts elsewhere. . .I may get frustrated at the moment. . .but then I feel that gentle nudge of the Spirit and realize that I gotta keep on keepin' on!. . .

. . .which is one of the reasons I started this blog. . .

.. In any event, I will do the series on electronic evangelization. . . It may get ordered and organized as I move along, a work in progress, if you will. . . but that's one of the beauties of internet. . .one can quickly change and update information. . . .

OK. . I'm getting way ahead of myself here. . but more on electronic evangelizing in the days and weeks to come. . .

. . .So. . . when are you going to start driving your own proverbial electronic bus?

Anonymous said...

Good morning to my Sister in Christ....You asked, ". . .So. . . when are you going to start driving your own proverbial electronic bus?"

Please allow me first to ascertain that Bus Driver is a term of humility for me Driving the Bus on Sin/Wrongdoing/etc. I choose to do that - without beating myself up profusely, so that I may remember that my ideas are not necessarily the only or best ideas available.

It also assists in keeping me out of my own comfort zone, which is a very cozy place ("the way we've always done it...")...

Evangelization(whether or not some may want to embrace it is a different story) is the primary mission of the Catholic Church. Popes have said so. Jesus said so. But yet, we don't have Evangelization Commissions at a lot of parishes - and we wonder why we're closing churches.

I attended a seminar on Evangelization at the IHM in Monroe a few months back and the AOD team was sharing evangelization ideas/techniques/etc with us. Paco was great. I asked if this exciting instruction was being taught/shared at the Seminary and the answer was..... no.


How can one pass on - or see the need for someone else to pass it on - if they themselves do not possess or are not aware of the need for it to exist?

Sister, you mentioned, "you have a lot to say and your words make people think..." You and I are cut from the same cloth in the arena, as sometimes new ideas get scoffed at when brought up (see above -that's the way we always do it). If somethng new doesn't work, we can always go back to the comfortable way we just came from.

Sit in a different pew.

Go to a different church.

Say hi to someone new today the sign of peace.

Eat your carrots before your veggies.

Whatever it is, try it...

I believe that is why we are all here. If we don't think, what are we doing with our Free Will - or anything else?

The proverbial electronic bus is sitting with the engine running at, a website full of faith based subpages and contacts and church teachings and blah blah blah.

Fresh ideas (and subsequent action on those ideas) are welcome - and encouraged- there. I saw a Ben Franklin quote the other day- "Never confuse motion with action." Amen.

The Holy Spirit is telling me it's time for prayer...May all have a blessed day today and thank you, Rubi, for your ideas and passion.

Did someone say Michigan Cherry Salad?


Rubi said...

. . . Taco Salad. . . .