e-Formation Conference, Day 2: Meredith Gould and Bruce Reyes-Chow keynote
e-Formation Conference, Day 2: Meredith Gould and Bruce Reyes-Chow keynote

José Reyes at e-Formation

How do you start day two of a conference on the intersection of faith and the digital world? With an Internet outage.

Technology gives us ample opportunity to be gracious when glitches arise; we continued with morning worship and Meredith Gould’s general session, tethering the powerpoint presentation to a smartphone! Meredith spoke about shifts in culture from analog to digital, beginning with time itself. The digital world is faster-paced. Expectations of responsiveness, life-cycles, and the shelf life of culture have changed.

Understanding the shift of time/timing, privacy/disclosure, identity/authenticity, and leadership/authority are central to understanding and acting as a pastoral presence in the digital world. Most importantly, Meredith advised that we stop making distinctions between “real life” friends and online friends. Online is real life.

Bruce Reyes-Chow led the evening general session on faith, technology, race, and parenting, illustrating hot-button topics with personal stories of his family. Bruce incorporates his own story, complete with photos and stories of his grandparents, mother, wife, and children, into the greater Christian story.

His willingness to share allows him to open difficult discussions on race and sex. Those conversations are awkward, but the only way not to be awkward is to keep having them. As ministers and pastors, we know how to build relationships and we don’t leave those skills behind when we minister with a screen.

If you missed any of the webcast, or are intrigued by what you’ve glimpsed at #eform14, be sure to check out eformationvts.org and Pinterest, where presentations and resources are all pinned.

Please join us Wednesday at 1:15 EST, as we wrap up our whole conference with a live (!) Easter People Podcast.

The Center for the Ministry of Teaching (@VTS_CMT) curates faith formation resources for dioceses, congregations, and schools in the Episcopal Church and beyond.

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