By Rev. Marty Levesque
The pandemic has demonstrated the value of social media and communication in general.
During this past year, yes I said a year, we have learned that we cannot just put a message in a bulletin or announce it on Sunday morning anymore. Instead, we have adopted multiple platforms to communicate with parishioners.
Depending on the specific needs of individual parishes these tools have ranged from snail mail, phone trees, email blast using tools like Mailchimp, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube worship services, revamped websites, live streams, apps for smartphones and more. In short, these tools have been a godsend. They have allowed us the ability to maintain our communities while we are staying at home to flatten the curve and save lives.
But as vaccines begin to be rolled out with the government targeting September for population vaccination, we need to start thinking about how we shift and refocus those tools to begin looking outward after they have served us so well looking inward.
Simply put, Back to Church Sunday in 2021 may be the most important day in the calendar. Not just for drawing back together our own communities, but for active evangelism.
The world is starving for community, events to attend, people to see and activities to engage. Our fall ramp up this year will be the most important of our generation.
There is an incredible opportunity that awaits us this year to offer events, social gatherings and of course in-person worship in the name of bringing people to Christ. To that end, we must start planning now and give some thought of how we will take all these new tools and turn them outward so that we can invite our mission fields and build community.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo. firstname.lastname@example.org
(Featured photo: Annie Theby/Unsplash)