According to Hoyt, the word testimony is a word we have borrowed from the legal system where one is called to testify before a jury and judge. In the African American church tradition, testimonies are still a vibrant part of the church experience. This is due inpart because of the plight of Afrcian Americans from slavery, oppression and our struggle to freedom. As a result of these crippling experiences the church became the place of safety and respect. The church also became a place where we could look our trial and tribulation in the eye and say, ” If God is before us, who can be against us?” It was and remains the place where we gain strength and encouragement. The method that most profoundly exemplifies this strength is our testimony.
According to Hess, we (the Christian Community) should understand that when we engage with social media that we should come to it with a sense of humilty. Gone are the days when we had great influence over how people thought and acted. Today as we engage with social media we should know that what we put out there will be interrupted in numerous ways and we will have no control over that. This humility component I believe is very important to us as representive of the Holy and humanity. God calls us to be humble. God calls us into the mystery of God. It seems that more we know the more we realize how finite we are. This lesson in humility I believe serves us well. If we can heed this lesson we will reap many blessings from social media and for our various churches.
According to Rheingold there is a process to mindfulness. This can also be called the process of metacognition. First we must pay attention to our intentions; be in tune with our awareness; remember to breath because that help the brain connect with the body; and to give clear direction to what we need to attend to. As a person with ADD this concept is very difficult to do. I fine myself struggling with focusing on the simplest of task. I have been practicing some of the mindfulness techniques and I have gained some benefit from the engagement. Has anyone else had success with this kind of process?
In Shirky book Here come Everybody,he talks about social awareness having three levels: 1) “When everybody know something”- meaning that there are many that are aware of a given situation; 2) “when everybody knows that everybody knows”- meaning the awareness has reached most of your social circle of friends, and community; and 3) “everybody knows that everybody knows that everybody knows”- meaning that the awareness of the information is so wide spread that the novelty of someone knowing is the given and the arena by which action can be taken.
When I reflect back on Ref. 74 Washington that passed in 2012. I believe that the reason why it passed was because this truth about marriage equality had reached the second level of “everybody knows that everybody knows” which gave it enough power to be passed thanks to social media. However, it was a close call, because it had not reached the third level. The information was wide spread, but because there were churches that were motivated by fear of the unknown and were rigid to change, this truth of human dignity and justice wasn’t apparent for all. This makes me curious as to when the bell of marriage equality will ring for all in our nation, thoughts……..
Drescher in Click to Save speaks of the monumental changes that have taken place in social media through the multiple choices that are now available such as Facebook, twitter, tumbr and YouTube. Through these powerful and vast platforms, our access to local and world events are often immediate. Early social media was primarily covered through television broadcasting and newspapers. These somewhat social media “relics”, often had a very respectful engagement with religion. However in todays culture because of the ubiquitous nature of current social media, greater voice has been given to those who have struggle and/or been wounded by religion. However, the church has found their niche in this new media world as well. Churches are using these platforms to minister in new and creative ways. The church now has the ability to more intimately connect with others across the nation and world. For now, there seems to be more blessings than curses to our rapidly changing social media. What the future holds is still processing………………