Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

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!

 

Digital Discipleship

Digital Disciples-2

I often wonder – after all the workshops, articles, mentoring that I’ve done over the years – how have I (and others) inspired catechists to be Digital Disciples? As I reflected on this question, I thought – INTERACTIVE CONNECTIONS has the means to draw folks together to share their stories and to interact with the audience who joins them to share their stories. We do not need to get on a plane, train, or automobile to travel anywhere. We can network and connect with one another, regardless of where we live, with digital tools.

In addition, since the founding of Digital Catechesis in 2011, we have grown to over 900+ members. Some members are very active and some are on the sidelines. It would be my hope that the family of Digital Disciples are growing within this group. And what it means to be a Digital Disciple will have a unique meaning for each person.

For some, they will be the parish webmaster, developing the parish website. For others, they will be catechists and teachers with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults who are stepping into the digital world utilizing the digital methodology that now surrounds us in our everyday lives.

As we adapt to this ever evolving digital world, we will be innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards! Even the medical field uses this language. In a recent article that I read about medical clinicians, I love the line “Groups of clinicians change slowly, even when a change is obviously the best course of action. The Technology Adoption Curve, models the time required to achieve group buy-in for a technology, whether it’s a stethoscope or an EMR.” We can say the same about catechists and others involved in ministry.

I am an innovator! I am infatuated with technology. I try things before training is available. I am habitually drawn to new technologies (and invite others to join me) to build on them and apply to faith formation in new ways. I trust that I am nurturing the early adapters so that they will step into this digital world and despite feeling any fear they may have, they will be creative and productive.
And my curiosity has inspired me to invite these early adapters to share their story. How? Through “Show ‘N Tell,” a webinar style of sharing our stories with one another in the hopes of creating a network of stories that demonstrate how new tools can be used to share our faith stories with one another.

I was delighted to have Joe Mazzeo email me with his request to share what he is doing with his pre-Confirmation students.

Joe Mazzeo

Joe Mazzeo

He is our first volunteer for a “Show ‘N Tell” webinar.

I first met Joe when I was facilitating the Digital Catechesis course offered through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation.  When I asked him – When did you first realize that technology is a tool that could be used to enhance your teaching of the faith with your pre-Confirmation students?  He said, “When I noticed students becoming bored with the book/lecture/notes method.  My students were watching videos and listening to music while I was trying to teach.  I just wasn’t connecting.  I tried a video clip from Busted Halo and the discussion just bloomed.  Then I added some online questions and people did homework.”

Joe did a wonderful job in sharing his story.  You can view the slides from his presentation below.  As soon as the video is uploaded to Vimeo, I’ll add it to this page so that you can come and listen to what Joe has shared.

If anyone is interested in sharing their story, click on the button above.  I’ll get back to you as quickly as I am able.

In the meantime, if you feel that you are or are slowly becoming a Digital Disciple, click the “Like” button.

© 2013 Cerveny.

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!

Advent Technology: Preparing for the Lord Jesus!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to visit some of our magnificent Duomo’s (Cathedrals/Basilica’s)  in Venice, Florence, and Siena Italy.  I’m back home, and reflecting on this incredible experience after praying in, walking through, and viewing the frescoes,  statues, and more that one discovers in  these incredible medieval structures.

First what comes to mind is how the artists of this medieval period used the technology of this time to express their belief and understanding of Catholic Christianity – primarily reflecting the saints and our Gospel stories.  As I reflect on what I saw, it is very obvious that the Church was a major part of the city – and the story of Christ is told in a variety of images – intended to inspire and nurture the spiritual life of those who were visitors to this church.

Over the next four weeks, we will be preparing for the “great celebration of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus, (‘Christ-Mass’), Christians (Catholics and others) are invited to prepare to ‘get ready’, to make a place for the Lord in our lives and in our homes and to anticipate His coming. Deacon Keith Fournier

As we celebrate this liturgical season of Advent, I invite you to explore how today’s technology can be used to enhance our faith, culture and worship in today’s everyday world.  We are everyday artists with tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media tools where we can share our getting ready for the Nativity of the Lord with our friends and families.

How will you do this? Stop for a moment and identify your personal digital “city” – your Facebook friends, those who may be following you on Twitter, your LinkedIn contacts, or YouTube friends – the online connections you have.  In this season of Advent, how might you involve them in “getting ready” to make a place for the Lord in our everyday lives?

  • Invite your Facebook friends (and families) to create an Advent Wordle.

  • Tweet an Advent  related video link, image, or a reflection at least once-a-week during this Advent season to those who follow you.  For example:

If you are looking for suggested Advent videos, a FREE membership is available at Digital Catechesis where a Video library of over 450+ online videos are available to you.  Enter “Advent” in the search field to locate the videos for this liturgical season.

  • Form a group on LinkedIn that will be the place for those who are interested in being part of an Advent retreat experience with you.  You will find helpful resources for adult Advent prayer at Ignatian Spirituality.com – a Loyola Press service that features Advent Resources.

It is easy to create a LinkedIn group, just click on “Groups-Create a Group” and complete the form.  You now have an online space to engage others in an Advent Retreat experience with you.

I encourage you to use your digital savvy to engage members of your family, friends, or members of your parish in this wonderful season of Advent.  We now have tools to reach a small group or a large group that are easy and fun to use.  It is simply your imagination and being comfortable with these tools that will help you to discover and use them for God’s glory!

If you like this post, please take a moment to click on the “Like” button.  More importantly, would love to hear from you how you are engaging others in this Advent season with online tools.  Come and share your story by clicking on “leave a comment.”

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

 

Advent Videos

How will you use videos during this Advent season?  I just checked the Digital Catechesis Video library and I discovered at least 10 Advent videos.  Here’s a sampling of three of the videos in the digital library:

Christ is Coming – This 5 minute advent meditation focuses on the coming of Christ into our world- not just as a child in a stable but as the bringer of justice and freedom.

Advent Conspiracy 2010 – This film uses popular Old Testament Scriptures juxtaposed with modern music and nativity silhouettes to help the audience to see Jesus in their hectic holiday lives.

Advent in Two Minutes – Check out Busted Halo’s two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas.

I love this wonderful digital age that we live in.  There are some wonderful resources that are FREE that we could use for our Advent Ministry.  How?  Here are three(3) suggestions:

  1. For the first week of Advent, and every week after that, add an Advent Video Link to your Facebook page/wall and add a reflective comment with a question.
  2. Engage in an Advent sharing with your friends. For example: If you “Tweet”, using 140 characters, tweet an Advent message related to the video and include the link.  Normally, Twitter will shorten the link.  If it does not, you can go to http://bit.ly – to shorten your URL.  Here’s an example: Wondering why we celebrate Advent! (Link) Why do you do Advent?
  3. Using your iPad or iPhone with an LCD projector or TV connection, show one of the videos as a prayerful reflection before your class or adult meeting.  Remember to practice before your session to make sure that all is working.  Remember that you’ll need an audio connection.

For those who are not members of Digital Catechesis, you are invited to join (It’s FREE).  If you are a member, and you discover other Advent videos that you would recommend to us, please come and add them to our Digital Library.

If you like these suggestions, please click the “Like” button.  We’d also like to hear your suggestions for using Advent videos.  Do add your comments in the “comment” section of this blog.

Advent Blessings!

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!

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