social media & the councils of the church

There’s a great  conversation going on at the blog of Tasmanian Anglican Archbishop John Harrower, about the use of Social Media during the Synod meeting of the Anglicans in Tassie.

Check into the conversation here: Bishop John » Tweeting Synod: Healthy for whom?.

Essentially the discussion is based on an increasing use of social media (predominantly twitter, some facebook and blogs) from within the Synod meetings over the last couple of years.

The discussion (very politely it must be said!) is wrestling with the pros and cons of using & embracing, or not using and prohibiting (my words, not theirs).

Within our own (Uniting Church) context we’ve been talking for a while about ways in which to make the meetings of our Synod (and extending that to the Presbytery & Assembly meetings) more interactive, more engaging, and more accessible.

My own view is that I’d love to see the use of social media (and in particular twitter) during our church gatherings, in a monitored and guided manner, and would see this as a huge bonus – either as a participant inside the meetings, or an interested observer outside.

Take the time to read through the comments, and you’ll find this one from Joshua which pretty much mirrors my own views.

In closing, I think one of the best ways to respond to social media is to embrace it. Appoint someone who is schooled in its use to monitor and engage with the conversations in some official capacity. Have a live stream of tweets using a common hashtag at Synod on the screen. Have an official twitter account that is asking questions about current debates, or foreshadowing what is coming in the business paper. Encourage people to follow the hashtag, to read blogs that give differing views of the topic and to engage with the conversation.

So, Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria & Tasmania….how about it for this September’s Synod meeting? And Assembly in Adelaide 2012?

Let’s kick things up a notch…!

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