Christian use of digital devices redefines 'going to church'

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today
Published: July 06, 2012
McKINNEY (RNS)—No matter where people live, they can go to church—virtually, at least—with Christ Fellowship in McKinney, which is on board with almost every high-tech gadget under heaven.
Find the church by going online—the 21st-century version of sighting a steeple on the horizon. Beyond its website, Christ Fellowship also has a Facebook page.
The curious can download the worship program by scanning their customized-with-a-cross QR code. Worship services are streamed online from the church’s Internet campus—with live chat running so participants can share spiritual insights in real time.


Which gadget enables you to receive Communion?



While I am not a huge fan of electronic devices in church, at Ash Wednesday 2011, I went to a nearby Roman Catholic church at noon, and, well this huge church was packed like they should be glad the fire marshal was Catholic. No bulletins to be seen. But I had my iBreviary app on my iPhone and found the mass readings for the day and followed along just fine. My vanity was stoked and I was hoping my up-to-datedness would be noticed.

The gadget that enables you to receive Communion is in development. The greater commercial demand is for a gadget that enables you drink the beer pictured on your screen on iBeer. I could use a frost one right now!

I also have several great Catholic apps on my iphone–I’m always a little hesitant to use them in Mass, however–I’m afraid people around me will think I’m checking my phone messages and take offense :slight_smile:

For Baptists and other simular groups the “Lord’s Supper” is not a sacrament, it is an ordinance, and individual bapists and etc. can do “Lords Supper” by themselves, no clergy needed.

I remember seeing on fundamentalist TV they would mail you a “Lord’s Supper kit” with a coffee creamer of grape juice, with a wafer over it, all for a donation of course.

Love it! We love being able to watch services at our church when we are out of town as well as services at our old church. I get devotions delivered to my email every day, find out about events and get reminders through Facebook and have a Bible to study in multiple versions through the youversion app on my iphone. I absolutely agree with one of the commentators that this cannot be a regular substitute for gathering with other believers…it should only serve to enhance. There is nothing like person to person contact.

Our parish streams all daily Masses as well as all 4 scheduled weekend Masses.

We also stream funerals and weddings for those family and friends who cannot attend.

It has gone extremely well, and we have had hits from all over the world, including Palestine, Irag, and Afghanistan. (Several parish members are serving over there)

We use 4 remote cameras from the choir loft, so we don’t interfere with the liturgy at all.

We have several different camera operators (I am one), and it never fails, there is at least one “oops” moment during virtually every Mass. :stuck_out_tongue:

I attend Mass at a college chapel. WiFi is available everywhere in the whole building. I rarely bring my nook now. I have a couple of versions of the bible, several books of prayers and I have the Catechism bookmarked. I only met with the others joining the Church once. During that meeting I recommended a book to Father. He wanted to know the author so I turned on my nook and looked it up. The other time we saw each other it was in passing. The night of our confirmation the finance of a woman joining the Church made a really snarky comment about my leaving my nook at home that night. I was shocked and said that I didn’t think I’d need it for the Vigil.

I went to a Spanish Mass and used my phone to have the readings in English since I don’t speak Spanish. I tried to be very discrete.

I think it is great that parishes can stream the Mass on-line for those who are home sick that day or home bound. It’s a wonderful way for them to stay connected with their parish.

Is there Facebook and live streaming in 15th century Russia? IS OUTRAGE!

Do they have it now?

While the Internet is a great sorce of information and Discusion, how on earth could a christian religiouse cerimony be conducted over the Internet. I can’t imagine celibrating a Sabat over the Internet.

Great resource. Thanks :thumbsup:

Sorry, that was an inside joke :smiley:

I thought so, I’m just disappointed I can’t be let in on the joke. :crying:

Electronics can be a great benefit in a service. I see no difference between reading something off a Nook or Smartphone and seeing it projected on a screen in the sanctuary.
I have just started recording my pastor’s sermons to put on our website. I have listened ot others’ sermons using Internet and found it very enlightening. Certainly all this is a great blessing and helps to spread the Word.

However, none of this can replace being with the body of Christ in a vey physical sense. Much of the Gospels and nearly all of the Epistles is about living in community until Christ’s return. It is impossible to compare getting some grape juice and a cracker to having someone look you in the eye and say “The body of Christ given for you”, and “The blood of Christ shed for you.” That image cannot reach out and put the sign of the cross on those who are at the altar rail in some deep distress or who have returned from some estrangement. We are made in the image of God, but we are still fallen creatures. Paul several times reminds his auditors that he has to speak in human terms because of our limited natures. The Electronic Age may be ready for us, but we are not ready for electrons to replace the very real Body of Christ.

Is not 15th century Russia came from a now defunct (I think) humorous blog called the Onion Dome.

I miss it.

It can’t. You can watch a sermon and follow along with some songs, but that is not corporate worship it’s simply private.

But to get back to the OP. Technology is great; I can have the whole breviary on my iPhone (1962 or modern) for $.99 while the whole set would cost me upwards of $150 (or over $200 for the 1962), and best of all I don’t have to remember when to flip to a different area.

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