Friday, July 23, 2010

"Church" in an app

Fascinating Huffington Post article by Paul Lamb on the potential for religious communities (including creating new kinds of communities) of location-based, social networking apps for mobile phones. He concludes:
There is no question that the mobile experience will redefine how and when people engage with their spiritual and religious communities. Just as we have Web-only worshippers, we may soon be seeing mobile-only congregations which organize and disband on the fly. Nobody knows exactly where things will end up, but next-generation mobile apps could offer a powerful and extended community experience unlike anything that exists today outside of institutional walls and on the Internet.

In a world where it is getting harder and harder to bring people to church, mobile apps might lead the way in bringing church to the people.

I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Farewell to Prison Farms

The fight to save the prison farms around Kingston, Ontario, was lost in a recent court decision that gave Correctional Services Canada the go-ahead to close the farms and auction off the livestock. I've worked with ex-offenders and with food banks, and I support prison farms: the work gives prisoners confidence and skills (the government says that farm skills aren't useful in the "real world" but I wouldn't say that to the farmers around here, or to the government's rural base!), the output of the farms feeds prisoners and goes to local food banks, and closing the farms will not actually save the government money as there will have to be new skills training programs and replacement purchases for the farm produce. It's rumoured that the hidden agenda at work is using the farmland for expansion of the prisons. Father Raymond de Souza has an excellent piece in The National Post on the issue.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Although I'm in what at one time would be called a "Dissenting" denomination, I always love William Blake's lyrics to Jerusalem, listed by its first line in hymn books as And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time. Chariots of fire, arrows of desire, the Holy Lamb of God walking on England's pleasant pastures green. See the blog Ghost of a Flea on controversies over singing the hymn (which was in our 1971 joint Anglican-United Church of Canada red hymnal, and whose tune is in our present hymn book as O Day of Peace) in the modern Church of England.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tea Party Jesus

The Huffington Post has excerpts from Tea Party Jesus, putting quotes from key Tea Party and Republican figures into the mouth of Jesus. It makes a great point about how the language of people who call themselves Christians so often isn't, well, Christian. What would Jesus do?