Sunday, March 22, 2009

CEN February 2009

Last month's Church of England Newspaper column:

I feel we need to go deeper. Surfing can leave a reputation for levity and shallowness. Let's start heavy this month. Feels a bit Lenten, Lentish whatever. Deep Church says that, '...Remembering our shared Christian past is essential for facing the future. This site provides a place for academics, practitioners, church historians, theologians and, most importantly, church communities to reflect on a range of issues for which a vibrant contemporary faith requires a careful listening to the past even as we move into the future.' Weighty enough?

ReSource ' for the renewal of people and churches for mission in the power of the Holy Spirit - across all traditions, Churches and denominations, but with an Anglican distinctive. We understand renewal as the ongoing process by which God brings spiritual refreshment and practical challenges to individuals, churches and communities. We work primarily through a scattered and travelling team of people with complementary giftings and experience.' If you are still looking for a Lent course (wakey wakey) then their publication Season of Renewal may help.

'To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.' This is the nose-bleed inducing mission statement of Edge. It's where the smart people surf.

Digging a lot is the blog of ordained minister Graham Peacock. He has set himself the target of blogging fifty posts (taking him up until Easter) which are more graceful than destructive. Nice idea. Drop in and encourage him.

Reformed spirituality and missional church is the subject of much of the writing of Tim Chester. His Sheffield church is part, but not typical, of the emerging church movement. Amongst the gems there is an alarmingly long essay on how to wash up properly to the glory of God. I detect a personal agenda.

For something more reflective try the unbelievable photography and spiritual insights of Methodist Minister and palaeoecologist (I don't know either) Dave Perry at Davesdistrictblog or the poetry of the anonymous blogger at the excellently named Feralchristianity.

I don't go a bundle on promoting shopping sites but iwantoneofthose provides a useful service. It sells all those gadgets and gizmos you may have heard about but don't know where to find. Everything from a fridge magnet photo holder to a stealth model speedboat is there.

During the recent bad weather I learned that a number of schools and other organisations used CardboardFish's services. This organisation enables emails to be sent to mobile phones quickly and in a bundle, so you can tell people about your closed school/office or cancelled event to save them travelling.

I think most of us have now got the hang of ignoring emailed virus warnings. Virus-checking software will sort things quicker than an email from someone in your address book. Often the warning itself contains a link to malware (a programme that purports to be useful but actually steals your information/secrets/passwords). But what about those emailed heart-warming tales, miracles and requests to send messages of support to various collectors or victims? Snopes is an information source to check out many of these before responding. Lots of them are bogus.

When an on-line dictionary or encyclopedia is called for, there are many. If they have user-edited content (Wikipedia for instance) you will have to trust no-one has been messing about with them. This caused a row in the House of Commons recently. See it reported at the BBC News site. Onelook is a word site and also employs a nifty reverse look-up system where you can find a word from its meaning. Merriam-Webster (dictionary and thesaurus) remains my firm favourite but let's keep them on their toes.

You may have had it up to here (I know you can't see where I'm pointing but trust me, it's a long way up) with social networking sites but Twitter seems to be catching on and Tumblr combines blogging and social networking. A nice feature of Tumblr is the ability to compare keywords across its pages. Are people talking about blogging, facebooking or twittering the most? You can find out. Twittering. By a country mile.

Some music? Anewbandaday will give you... yeah that's right. Tin. Label. Bingo. takes ages to load.

No comments: