Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Stations of the Cross

As Holy Week approaches, we will take time to remember the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus through the Stations. Why are the stations part of our prayer? It allows us to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death.

Following is a suggestion to engage your students in preparing to pray the stations in church:

  • Look over the following Stations of the Cross, and determine which one is best used with your students. You can assign ONE station per small group of students or if you have a small group of students, you can assign a couple of stations per group. This is their background information for the station.

Creighton University Ministry Stations
USCCB Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross Especially for Children
Stations of the Cross: A Devotional Guide for Lent and Holy Week

  • After assigning a station to a small group of students, ask them to draw or choose an image that represents the station. Invite them to prepare a short meditation and prayer (one or two sentences) for the station they have been assigned. There are various ways they can create their image from drawing their station on paper and then scanning to an electronic format, or using electronic drawing tools to create their drawing, or simply going over to church to photograph the station that they have been assigned.

(Or you may work with your Youth Ministry group, to have students photograph the Stations of the Cross that are in your parish church and to organize them in a Dropbox folder so that your students will have access to the Station of the Cross images from your church.)

Example of a PPT Station Template

Example of a PPT Station Template

  • Using PowerPoint (You may want to use the suggested template or you may wish to design a template) invite your students to create a PPT slide that represents the Station that they have been asked to prepare and add the image, reflection, and prayer.
Example of a Station of the Cross PPT Slide

Example of a Station of the Cross PPT Slide

  • Save the slide in two formats – 1) the usual PPT format and 2) the JPG format using the “Save As” function and for a File name use the format of Slide # (the number of the Station) so you will have files named Slide 1, Slide 2, Slide 3, etc. For FILE TYPE, choose – JPEG File International Format.
  • Now that you have the slides in a graphic JPEG format that can be used by video tools like Animoto and 30 Hands, you are ready to create a video meditation that can be shared on your parish website. Or once uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, you can share the link with your families on the parish Facebook page or Tweet the link out to the world.

If you are not familiar with the suggested tools, you will find an introduction to these tools at the Catechesis 2.0 blog. Come and visit:

Animoto 
30 Hands

The FREE Animoto will only allow you to create a 30-second video. So, to do a longer video, you will need to purchase either a monthly subscription for $5.00 or an annual subscription for $30. I love this tool and have found that the annual investment is a wise decision. 30 Hands Mobile is a FREE app for those using a smartphone, iPad or tablet computer. Check out the 30 Hands website for additional information.

What is so helpful about this activity is that you are engaging your students in a traditional prayer experience of the church – The Stations of the Cross – by using the technology that they are very comfortable with.

You may also wish to review the following blog pages:
Stations of the Cross and Virtual Journeys, and
Stations of the Cross Multimedia for Lent

Blessings as we prepare to enter into this time of remembering the gift of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus!

© Caroline Cerveny , SSJ-TOSF

Holy Week 2012

As we remember the journey of Jesus in Jerusalem in his last days, how do we involve our families in stopping their busy lives to remember and celebrate this Holy Week beginning with the Palm Sunday journey through the death and resurrection of Jesus?

Of course, our liturgies this week are rich.  Especially during the Triduum time (Holy Thursday-Good Friday-Holy Saturday). I recall while growing up that this week was regarded as a very special week in our lives.  However, do our families today have the time they need to engage in this spiritual journey.  Often times not!

When families are unable to participate with their parish communities, let’s invite them into the virtual community.  Here are a few links and suggestions for you to share with your families:

  1. View Fr. Barron’s commentary about Palm Sunday.
  2. What is Holy Thursday?  Check out Rome Reports
  3. A Family Together: Jesus’ Journey to Calvary. You may also want to go to Google Earth and virtually visit some of the locations mentioned in this article.
  4. Click to learn more about Holy Saturday: History, Information, Prayers, Images and More.
  5. Visit the Catechist’s article for the Easter Vigil.

Blessings to you this Holy Week!

If you like this article, click the “Like” button or add your comment to this blog.

(c)2012,  Caroline Cerveny

A Spiritual Online Experience

Lent is this wonderful time of remembering Jesus’ journey to the Cross and then celebrating his Resurrection.  If you have journeyed to Jerusalem and walked the streets as Jesus walked the streets on this way to the Cross, this journey is a reminder of our spiritual journey.  As the path is walked, it helps us see our lives in the context of a path, a pilgrimage.

Spiritual journeys are now possible in a virtual format!   Recently, a friend shared with me the online Labyrinth that was developed by the people at PROOSTinspiring resources that fuel faith of the United KingdomLabyrinth

Here is the introduction to the online labyrinth:

Labyrinth Explanation

Click on the image or go to: http://www.labyrinth.org.uk/onlinelabyrinthpage1.html.

I would encourage you to find a moment in your day, when you have 40 minutes for a quiet, safe place for the intuitive, symbolic mind to be present to your path, your pilgrimage.

Here are some of the responses from the Visitor’s Book by people who have walked the Labyrinth:

Beautiful. I feel I’ve been somewhere… touched the robe of Christ and been recognized!

A completely uplifting and spiritual experience – this is what I came for.

Went to observe – stayed to participate. An amazing journey – no idea how long it took – a lifetime perhaps? Not over yet! Strong sense of journeying with the others in the Labyrinth. A good walk! Thank you for the stillness – for the experience of you and me. Truly God is here.

This magical experience made me totally change the way I will now look at life.

It’s amazing! I felt I was with God for the first time ever. It’s very thought-provoking and I will try to use this experience to change and improve my life.

A peaceful and deep experience in such an amazing setting. The world moved silently by as I explored my inner world – my own unique journey.

If history says I have helped one person to embrace God as you’ve helped me here, I’ll be glad.

Thanks, this has helped me to realize the stresses and strains of work and life – things that seem to surround and engulf me too much.

Words cannot describe my encounter with God through this.

One of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Thank you. Keep on.

Thank you all for providing an appropriate as well as creative ritual for others and myself to commune with God… I was given much insight and freed from much.

May you enjoy a quiet moment with the Lord!

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Thinking Creatively – A Lenten Challenge

Many of us over the Lenten season are deeply involved in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – the traditional manner of immersing ourselves in a season that calls for transformation and conversation.

Many of us are also “Digital Immigrants” in a world that is rapidly moving into electronic communication and global sharing.  Perhaps this is the season where we need to begin to imagine what it takes to transform our personal mindsets that keep us in the “Digital Immigrant” Zone into mindsets that allow us to become “Digital Natives” in ways we have never imagined.

Perhaps this is the season to challenge ourselves to transform the mindsets that we bring to the Digital Table.  How do we do that?  By prayerfully considering how we could use the digital tools that surround us to bring the faith alive with our Digital Natives.

So instead of turning to the “tried and true” materials we have used for generations – the textbook, the diocesan newsletters we receive, and other materials – that are electronic, but really they are just traditional materials that are now in a NEW format – an electronic format!

Instead, especially if we are really comfortable with the content of our faith, I invite you to play with tools that focus on photo sharing or online videos and to use your imagination.  That is, as you become familiar with the tool and/or the service, begin to ask yourself some questions:

  1. What possibility do I see here for using in my classroom (or group) for faith development?
  2. If I search using the term “Lent” what will I find?
  3. Once I find something interesting and maybe even exciting?  How can I weave it into my class?
  4. How could I share this video? this photo? with those in my class or group?
  5. What can I do with Twitter?
  6. What can I do with Facebook?
  7. What can I do with any of the tools that I become familiar with to share the faith?

So, what can you do?  Well, Let’s begin to look at Online Photosharing.  If you’re not sure what this is, take a moment to watch the Online Photosharing in Plain English video:

Yes, there are several options for photo sharing.  Which one you will use, is your decision.  Adam Pash on his blog, shares what he feels are the 5 Best Photo sharing websites. Check out what he says about each.

One of my favorites is Flickr!  I was playing with this website today – just asking myself —

  • What happens when?

In this case I just did a search using the word “Jerusalem”!  Wow all these photo’s that come directly from the Holy City of Jerusalem, created by folks like you and me.

Jerusalem Photos

Flickr Jerusalem Photos

My next question – What can I do with these beautiful photo’s?

Slideshow

Click on Slideshow link

As I looked at my screen, in the upper right hand corner I saw the words “Slideshow” and I wondered “What happens when I click on slideshow?”  To my wonderful surprise, without copying, downloading, or whatever – there was this wonderful slideshow of beautiful images about Jerusalem.

Then I continued to use my imagination and wondered – How could I use this slideshow with students or with others?  Here’s what I imagined:

  • I could tweet the link – http://www.flickr.com/search/show/?q=Jerusalem to my students or in the bit.ly format – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET With a phrase like “Come Visit Jerusalem in Lent – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET or “Where is Jesus in Jerusalem? – http://bit.ly/gsF0ET ” Then when we met in our classroom, I could ask how their visit to Jerusalem went?  What did they see?  What questions did they have? What questions would you use?
  • I could teach the students about Creative Commons Copyright and then invite them to create a 30-second video about Jerusalem using photo’s that they have found on Flickr.  Animoto is a wonderful website for this type of activity.
  • Sponsor a Church Scavenger Hunt.  Give your students a list of items they are to locate in your parish church or your diocesan cathedral.  Invite them to photograph these items.  Then they could create a PowerPoint using these items and offer explanations of what they have photographed.  The PowerPoints can be shared in class or added to your class website or who knows where your imagination will lead you.
  • And ….

Our imaginations are limitless!  I would encourage you, if you are not already using a photo sharing website, to choose one of these tools.  Then to begin to imagine how you can creatively use this tool for faith-sharing.

My imagination runs wild, when I begin to use it.  What about yours?  Of course, what’s most important in becoming a Digital Native, is that you WANT to share your wonderful idea with others.  We can all learn from one another!

What is your imagination creating?  Hope you take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas here at a CyberPilgrim blog! I’d love to hear from you!

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

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