Dear Friends ...
There is a letter in every issue of The Record written by the Minister, an Elder or a member of the Church Family. Here is the 'Dear Friends' letter from September which has been written by Margaret Samuel.
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Technology! This week I have been unable to use technology as much as I was hoping as my computer is not working properly and I was unable to join a Zoom meeting. Very frustrating.
However – while I was waiting for my computer to open I started to sort out a few box files and discovered I wasn’t the only one bothered by technology. I found a book, ‘Slower than Butterflies’ by Eddie Askew in totally the wrong place and opened it at random to a page which described the trouble he had when he bought himself a new computer. He said that it had spent ‘two days crouching on my desk growling at me and refusing to do any of the things I wanted it to do.’ Eventually he realised it was faster than his old one and had many more refinements.
I then started flipping backwards through the latest copy of ‘Reform’ magazine and even on the back page it was referring to technology. In ‘Do Stay for Tea and Coffee’ the writer tells how he was roped in by a friend to take part in the ‘Parable of the Social Distancing Samaritan.’ Other suggestions he made included St Paul having a Zoom call with the Corinthians, a Skype call to the Philippians or Facetime with the Galatians.
The article which really got me thinking, however, was ‘Stay Online’ by Lawrence Moore. He pointed out that much of the technology that has been used during the COVID19 Lockdown has been available for years. Only now are we thinking of the importance of trying to keep everyone in the loop and able to partake in Online worship whereas for years, as people have become too old or infirm to attend a physical service, it has been a given that they may receive a visit now and then and the possibility of taking Communion. Granted we have been recording services and distributing them to those who requested them, but it’s not the same as seeing the service as it happens and feeling part of the congregation.
He suggests that sanctuaries should have robust Wifi, a good sound system and a screen plus training to ensure a successful output, most of which we already have. The part that I thought was a very good idea, however, was the suggestion that there should be iPads or tablets available for housebound members who didn’t have access, and help in their use. Just think how much difference this would make to some of our congregation. He also suggested that although many members of groups would eventually, either sooner or later, be able to meet in person, it might encourage those who do not like coming out at night to get involved in groups they would never have joined before, and even Church Meetings could be available to the housebound.
It’s an article well worth reading and can be found online. Much food for thought.
Anyway, my computer is still performing ‘slower than butterflies’ and the ‘r’ is not working properly, so if you find a word without an ‘r’ forgive me please, and as Eddie Askew ended his comments, ‘Take a long look at your world today and open your mind to the miracles going on around you’ even if some of them involve technology.'