Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Dear wonderful friends,
I want to thank each of you for your wonderful and creative approach to the ever evolving Digital World.  Our ministry is one of communicating the Word!  In today’s digital world we are called to learn more about the Digital Culture, Speak a New Language, and Learn New Skills so that – “Technological innovation as an expression of God-given creativity frames social communication within the divine plan and invites humankind into is as coparticipants through our generativity.”   (Daniella Zsupan-Jerome)

christmas-2014

A few things to watch out for in 2015:

  • ACyberPilgrim articles will resume in 2015, so watch this space.
  • Insights from the Florida Educational Technology Conference will be shared in early February.
  • Watch for news about the 2015 Digital Discipleship Boot Camp training. Now ALL online and our DDBC team has updated the Module assignments and added a new module –  Websites for Ministry

Have a wonderful Christmas break.. I look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Christmas wishes,

Sr. Caroline

Jesus is the Light Who Brightens the Darkness

Recently I’ve taken time to retreat to refresh and renew – body, mind, and soul.  Little or no computer technology during this time! Thus my Christmas reflection is late this year.

After I awakened this Christmas morning, I sat down at my computer to share my Christmas wishes with you.  What initially caught my eye as I began this task is the “Christmas Celebrated Near and Far” Associated Press story.

As I viewed the photo gallery, I was reminded that Christmas is celebrated around the world.  Today we remember that our Christ came to us as a baby in very humble beginnings born in a stable surrounded by shepherds.  Pope Francis in his Christmas Eve homily simply reminded all of us that our central cause as a church is to be attentive to the poor.  How? That’s what we need to figure out on a daily basis.

As we remember and celebrate the gift of Christ in our lives, may the Nativity Scenes that are placed in our homes, churches, and wherever we may find them, remind us that we are gift to one another.

Here is the translation of the Popes Christmas mass night homily – Jesus is the Light who brightens the darkness. May his words inspire you as we celebrate this wonderful feast of Christmas.

© Cerveny, 2013

 

Sharing the Light!

During the weekend of November 22nd,  the film – The Christmas Candle will be showing in theaters around the country! I saw a preview showing of the film Thursday evening, I loved it!  I’d encourage you to purchase your ticket  and go see it!

Why? For many reasons:

  • It is a holiday film for the entire family!
  • The story – Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle.  Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.
  • Filmed on location in England, depicting the 1890 time period where it is at the dawn of the electric age.  There is tension between the legend and the coming electric age.
  • The photography is excellent, I felt like I was in the midst of this time period.
  • When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness.

In this winter and Advent season, where each day gets darker and darker, it is a time to be hope filled in the Light of Christ!

The story is also a visual experience of the lighting of the weekly Advent wreath with a reflection and prayer.  If we reflect on our day to day lives, there are moments when we have lost hope!  Yet our daily journey is to be a miracle to one another, offering the hope we each need to one another.  Through prayer, Christ our Light brings hope to our daily lives.

For the Christian Community, the story unfolds a journey through the four weeks of Advent up to a Nativity scene.  What a way to begin a journey through the Advent season – visually experiencing the lighting of the weekly Advent wreath with each weekly prayer and then witnessing the birth of Christ in the context of this story.

Filmmaker Max Lucado comments, “My prayer is that audiences of all ages will leave The Christmas Candle with their hope restored and faith renewed by the message that God has – and always will – work miracles.  Especially, at Christmastime.”

I’d take it a step further to say – we become the “miracle workers” because we have experienced the Light of Christ!

For further information about the film, visit ChristmasCandleMovie.com!

 

Wishing you all the Joy, Hope and Wonder of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Message from our Aussie friends – Fraynework

Dear wonderful family and friends of CyberPilgrim , Digital Catechesis , Digital Discipleship Boot Camp, and Twitter :

One of the real joys of the Christmas Season is the opportunity to say Thank You and to wish you the very best for the New Year. May your Christmas be rich with family love, warm with friendship, happy with life’s goodness and blessed with the joys of the season.

I am especially blessed with the many friendships that have developed over the years by our wondering about, struggling with, dreaming of, feeling challenged by the technology world that surrounds us in this 21st Century.

Many of us may be Digital Immigrants and others are Digital Natives. Regardless of our tech experience, we are faced with effectively evangelizing in a Digital Culture. Thank you for being part of this digital journey.

Like the shepherds in the field, we are surprised by a bright light only to discover Jesus. Like the Three Wise Men, we will journey miles in order to be led to Jesus. Today, we can be evangelizers to lead others to Jesus in new ways with Digital Tools.

In 2013, I will continue to share my insights with you and I count on you to join in the conversation. It is in sharing our wisdom with one another in collaborative ways via blogs, wikis, twitter, Facebook and more that we will become more comfortable to evangelize in this Digital Continent to bring the Lord Jesus to others. I will be taking a brief break during this Christmas season to enjoy family and friends. I’ll be back in January!

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Memories with a Slideshow

Animoto-Christmas

Christmas is in a few weeks!  For many of us it is family time where we gather to share this season with one another.  Of course, a camera is in hand and you capture your memories in digital photos.

You can use these photos to create an amazing slideshow.  There are four ways that this can be done:

  1. With Animoto.
  2.  You may want to use Microsoft Moviemaker, or
  3. You may create your own music video with PowerPoint! .
  4. If you are a Verizon customer, you now have access to.  Once you download and install Media Manager on your Windows PC (or the MAC version), you can import personal music, photos and videos and display them on FiOS TV through your FiOS TV DVR or HD Set-Top Box.

All you need are your photo’s, your favorite tool, and your own touch of creativity!  If you have slideshow to share, we’d love to hear about it.  Come back and add the link to the comment section.

Here is a sample of a video created with Animoto – Our Christmas Together.

If you like this activity, take a moment to click on the “Like” button.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

With Christmas Around the Corner

Christmas-12

Christmas-1

With Christmas around the corner, you may be wondering how could you do digital storytelling with your students?  I would encourage you to think about using Mixbook!

Why – There is a wonderful Christmas template that has 25 pages:

  • Cover Page
  • Pages 2-3
  • Pages 4-5
  • Pages 6-7
  • Pages 8-9, etc
  • up to page 25, the back cover

More importantly, it is a tool that allows you to invite others to join you in creating a page.  Once you have an account and have chosen a template, all you need to do is click on  the “Invite” button and send the invite to them.

Your saying this is impossible to do because you do NOT have access to computers while you are teaching your class!  Well, many of our students have these tools either in their pockets or bookbags (e.g., iPhones, iPads) or they have computers in their homes. Or, you may be able to use the School Computer lab. Before you say this is impossible, I would encourage you to think of alternate ways this activity could be accomplished.

Last year, I watched as a group in my parish told the Christmas story outdoors at the church.  I regret now that I only took a few photos as I’d love to show you more of how you could develop a booklet that would tell this story.

I’m hoping that they repeat this event this year, I’d encourage the junior high catechists to involve their students in telling this story using Mixbook.  How?

Step 1: Invite students to attend the event and to bring their digital camera’s with them.  Once photo’s have been taken, ask your students to upload them to the class Flickr website.  Suggested resources for you Use Flickr in the Classroom or Using Flickr.com in the Classroom.  This will give all students a place to upload their photos.  You may assign this task to several students as these photos then are available for all to use.

Step 2: Study the Christmas template.  This way you could make a few notes about each of the pages that would guide the students to what you would like them to accomplish.  For example:

  • Cover Page: Insert a photo hear that shows a scene in the story.  Add Christmas 2012 and you may have other suggestions.
  • Page 1: Change “A Christmas To Remember” to a phrase or sentence that identifies what event this is…and where it is happening.  For example –
  • Pages 2 & 3: Choose 3 photos that will go on this page….two are large and one is mini-size.  These photos will continue to represent different scenes from the Christmas story.
  • Etc.

To learn more about Mixbook, visit the tutorial .

Step 3: Once you have some idea of what can be accomplished on each of these pages, then look at the list of your students and see who you want to assign to work together  in small groups.  You may need to see which students live close to each other and/or who are friends and would like to work together.  It is also important to have some idea of students who may not have a computer, as you can involve students who have or do not have a home computer to be able to work together.

Step 4: Once you have your groups and you have outlined what needs to happen on each page, then you can invite your students to create their page (or pages) with their assigned tasks.

Here is a sample invite:

Dear Name(s) of Student(s),

This year we will share the story of Christmas with our parish by creating an online photo book of the dramatic representation of the Christmas Story  by members of our parish.  We will be using Mixbook (Link to the Class website activity) for this project.

You are being asked to work on Page(s) X – X.  (Now add your page note here)

When we have completed our Christmas story, we will share our work on the parish website. For an idea of what this may look like, check out our sample .

We’ll talk more about this project when you come to our next class.

Yes, there is some planning for you so that this project can be carried out.  But the outcome will be a contribution that you can offer to the parish website that will be a way to guide your young students in becoming Digital Disciples as they share a story – potentially with the whole world.

If you like this activity, take a moment to click on the “Like” button.  Later, after your students have completed their Digital Story, come back to share the link and tell the story of what happened with your class.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Blessings!

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of my favorites!  Why? It is a time of celebrating the Birth of Christ, remembering the gifts, blessings, and sorrows of the past year, and of course we are each hoping for a better year than last year!  On New Year’s Eve, many of us make a number of New Year Resolutions. One of my resolves will be to continue “blogging” and “sharing” as the Digital World is very important today for evangelizing and sharing the faith!

As I stop to reflect on this past year and look forward to 2012, I want to thank each of you for visiting this blog and to thank my friends and the SSJ-TOSF’s for your support in this ever evolving digital ministry.   It has been an opportunity for me to share with you a view of what is on our doorsteps – digital learning!  When you return to this blog in 2012, I will continue to share with you insights, hopes, and dreams related to digital tools and learning.

Of course, my wishes are —
Like the star that led the Wise Men
Like the angels who announced the news,
May your holidays shine with joy
And fill your heart with Light
Wishing you a peaceful, blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Retelling the Christmas Story

Parents, are you looking for a way to engage your children to tell the story of the Birth of Jesus?  Well, here is a wonderful tool (and it’s FREE) that you can use with your children – Little Bird Tales.  Very easy to use!

When you are on the LIttle Birds website, click on the LittleBirdTales.Com Demo Video (that looks like the following image) for a quick overview of how to use this website.

Little Bird Tales

In three easy steps –

your child can create their Christmas story and share with members of their family.

All you need – imagination, drawing tools and paper, microphone, and a digital camera (a cellphone camera works)!  Check out the public stories that you find in the PUBLIC TALES tab.  One that caught my interest is an Easter Story.   Here is a wonderful example of a child telling their story.  Sorry – it’s Easter, not Christmas!

Here’s an opportunity where you can visit the crèche at your church after Mass and have your child use the camera to capture images of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.  Once they have their photo’s they can come back home and use them to tell the story about the Birth of Jesus which they heard in their class, or you read the story to them, or – who knows where they heard the story. Here’s the chance for them to pass on this wonderful story to others!

Now is the time to encourage them to tell the story in their own words and with their own creativity!  What better way to have them engaged in one of the great stories of our Christian tradition.

DRE’s and others who are involved in your parish catechetical/religious education programs.  You may wish to send this link to your parents, or add the link to your parish website, or use this link in any way to encourage your parents to involve their children in telling the Christmas story.  When the children have completed this Digital Storytelling, they can email the link to others in their families!  What about to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins who live in other cities?

Hope you enjoy and have fun with this activity!  Would love for folks to come back to this post to share the links of the stories that have been created.

Remember, if you like this post, click on the “Like” button!

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Christmas Greetings!

Dear wonderful family and friends and CyberPilgrim , Digital Catechesis, and Twitter friends:

As the Holiday Season is upon us, I find myself reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped to shape INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS and DIGITAL CATECHESIS in a most significant way. I value the relationship with you and look forward to sharing with you in the year to come.

To my wonderful family and everyday friends who are in many geographic areas, I wish you blessings this Christmas Season.  As you see, I’ve decided to simply “go digital” this year with my Christmas wishes to you.  I invite all of you to continue visiting A Cyberpilgrim’s Blog in 2011.

Jesus, Mary, and the Child Jesus

Christmas Blessings

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.

I  wish you a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with peace.  May our hearts continue to transform those we meet on a daily basis.  May we truly be Jesus for others!

Looking forward to continue connecting with you in the 2011 year!

Blessings,

S. Caroline

Photo Credit: © 2010 Cerveny

PS: If you have not seen the Digital Story of the Nativity, you may want to take a moment to enjoy —

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