Amma Sue - July/August 2013

posted 15 Sep 2013, 01:36 by Richard Jones   [ updated 15 Sep 2013, 01:36 ]

Dear Friends,

Sister Judith and I are in the process of building a web site for our Order, it’s an interesting project and one not without its frustrations as we attempt to understand how to input, delete and change the information we want on it. I must admit that my primary motivation for undertaking the task was to attempt to follow the advice we have received from a number of people that we should make it as simple as possible for people to find out information about the Order of the Companions of Martha and Mary.

However, the other day attempting to research how other religious orders have constructed their web sites I was fortunate enough to come across a short You Tube video of a conference address presented by Dame Catherine Wybourne OSB, a Roman Catholic Benedictine nun. Dame Catherine is a web page designer and contributes to her community’s income by providing a professional service to a variety of institutions and individuals – she is also very IT savvy and her community also provides various apps for mobile phones and iplayers! In her short 30 minute address she offered a  thoughtful exploration of the strengths and weakness of IT communication as well as offering a theological reflection on the use and abuse of IT and the internet. Her thoughtful words encouraged me to view our web site as not merely a tool for getting information out, but also as a very real opportunity to build community and share the Gospel message. Nevertheless, as Dame Catherine also cautioned, as good an opportunity as it is virtual community is it can never be a substitute for actual community – as she commented it is only in face to face interaction do we really get to know others. It is only by being together and sharing something of ourselves that we can build real relationships and not just virtual ones.

This being so all the Churchwardens, the PCC members and I are planning to get together for an ‘away day’ in September to share the stories and history of each of the churches, and to begin together to build a vision for the future. That doesn’t mean of course that we are going to come back with a nice shiny plan that will answer all our mission and ministry questions – let alone do we think that its only Churchwardens, PCCs and Vicars that can do this! We are simply making a start, taking the first steps in a journey of pilgrimage, a journey that belongs to the whole people of God here in the United Benefice as we seek to build a real community, not just a virtual one.

We are the body of Christ, in the one Spirit we have all been baptised so let us seek to build up our common life – for after all we are all children of a real God and not a virtual one.

May God richly bless you all,

Amma Sue.