Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

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

 

An Advent Wordle Prayer Experience

For those who are interested in integrating technology into one of their Advent lessons by involving the family, you may wish to do the following:

  1. Direct your families and/or students to Advent Prayers and invite them to pick a prayer.  (Note: Here are other prayer links – Children Pray: Advent and Christmas or A Prayer for Lighting the Advent Wreath.
  2. As a family, invite all to pray this prayer together.
  3. Go back and highlight and copy the text of the prayer that was just prayed.
  4. Then go to WORDLE.
  5. Click on “Create Your …” link or the “Create” tab.
  6. Paste the text into the “Paste in a bunch of text” space.
  7. Then click on “Go”.
  8. Your screen will look something like….

If you like the word arrangement as it is great!  If not, you can adjust text, colors or word arrangement by clicking on menu bar text “Font”, “Layout”, or “Color”.  When you like your arrangement, then do a and paste into MS Paint or any other graphic program you may have to create a *.jpg file. You may want to crop your image so that you are just showing the Wordle!

Here are examples of how you can adjust your Wordle Design

Once the JPEG file is created, then you could invite your students to do the following:

  1. Ask them to email the graphic to you.  Once you have the files you can add them to your class website or create a collage of Wordle Prayers.
  2. Add the images to a class prayer PowerPoint.  With an Advent song playing in the background show the Wordle Prayer images.  Invite your students to identify ONE word on each slide that stands out for them.  You may want to have a worksheet for them.
  3. Then ask the students to create a SHORT Advent prayer using any five words they have identified.

For example:  Advent, Jesus, longing, brother, darkness

Brief prayer – Jesus this Advent we are experiencing darkness, we are longing for you to be our brother.

If you are not sure how to do the “tech” part of this prayer experience, remember that many of your high school students are very comfortable with these tools, you may want to ask one of the high school students to work with you to create the PPT, or add the images to the class website, or whatever else you may want to do. Remember, they love to be your coach so that you can learn how to use these technology tools.

If you have other ways that you are planning on using Wordle with your students during this Advent season, we’d love to hear about them.  If this was helpful to you, please click the “Like” button.

Copyright 2012 Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

 

Advent Activities

With Advent around the corner, families and catechists may be looking for an activity or two to engage the children in learning more about Advent!  Here are a few websites that I discovered that you may wish to use:

Advent Activities: OSV offers a checklist to get ready for Advent, Advent and Christmas recipes, crafts and more.

Advent Resources –  Here you will find activities, calendars, inspiration, Jesse Tree, prayers and an online Advent retreat from Loyola Press.

Advent –  A variety of Catholic Digest articles.

Advent: Jesus Is Coming –  The Saint Anthony Messenger Faith formation team offers short and helpful Advent articles here.

Advent Liturgical Season –  At the Wm H. Sadlier website, you get a wonderful Advent liturgical season overview.

Advent Prayer – 4CatholicEducators – com provide you with a collection of Advent links with articles, activities, and Advent Calendars.

How can you use this material? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. If you are communicating with your families through FaceBook, then each week you can choose a link and add it to your wall with a short Advent message.
  2. You may simply want to send an email to your families with a short Advent message and the link you are referring them to.
  3. If your families are “Twitter” followers, you can tweet a short “Twitter”message like – Here’s your checklist – http://bit.ly/vvcZd7 to get ready for Advent.  (Note: This will bring you to – Advent Activities – Preparing for Jesus an Advent Checklist ).

Hope you find these links of interest to you.  Would love to hear how you may be using these links in your catechetical program.

Of course, if this article was helpful, please click the “LIKE” button below.

Copyright 2012 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 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

The Complete Catechist Guide To Using Skype

Educators have used many digital  tools in their classrooms. We can learn from them! Edublogger Sue Waters on April 11, 2011 posted a wonderful article outlining everything you need to know about Skype including:

  1. Setting up Skype
  2. Using Skype
  3. To using Skype effectively within your classroom

Thank you Sue for all the helps and hints about Skype.  What we can now focus on is, how might we use SKYPE in the religion classroom or in an adult Faith Formation experience? I’ll begin the conversation and would encourage those who are reading this blog to continue the conversation with your suggestions and ideas.

SKYPE ideas for the Religion classroom

  • Videoconference With SKYPE.  Here is an example of an expert being brought into the classroom.  Perhaps you’re working on a Confirmation project that is focusing on the poor in your town or in a location in another state or country.  Arrange for an interview with a leader from this area to speak with your students about the project.
  • Present a Scripture Story. Through ePals, an educational service that safely links students in the same city or with students in other cultures, locate a religion class in another country.  Agree on the Scripture stories you would like to work on.  Then involve the students in retelling this story as if it were being told today in their country – using the images and symbols that are part of today’s culture.  In addition to discussing the Scripture story, this provides an opportunity for sharing how Jesus is present today in the lives and stories of other cultures.
  • Conference with parents. Whether a parent has to miss a regular sacrament meeting or a concern comes up that requires speaking with a parent, Skype can provide an opportunity to connect with a parent that may not otherwise be available for a conference.
  • What suggestions do you have for using SKYPE in your religious education classroom or program?

Looking forward to hearing your wonderful ideas!

With Holy Week around the corner, circle your calendars to return to ACyberPilgrim blog next week.  I will share a Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion video reflection with you and more…

Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

Tag Cloud