I'm racing to get through From the Holy Mountain before the book club meets tonight. I last read it when I was going off to Egypt in 1997, just before I was ordained deacon and I had forgotten how rich a read it was.
Part of yesterday was spent doing open heart surgery to a computer to turn it into a digital organ. It needed its processor changed before I could install some of the software that is needed. It was a fiddly job and is not over yet. I still need to install USB ports and a new sound-card before it is useful. However, it is worth it as the last version of the digital organ was refusing to start up properly more than o­ne in five times and was making me very nervous o­n Sundays. Odd that organists can make clergy nervous even when they are not real.
Also spent time yesterday discussing the implications of the net o­n pastoral ministry in the church with a fellow traveller. Can eucharist happen when people are gathered virtually? Can a congregation gather in a cyberspace as well as a physical space? Is prayer a cyber-space itself? (I think it is).
I think that the future will be thus:
Churches' territorial claims at a local level will either be nourished by the net or die completely.
“Parish” will cease to be a useful concept long before “congregation”.
Ministry will become more personal and more charismatic again.
The internet underclass will still need to be nourished by people trained in helping them, though finding such ministers will become very difficult.
People will chose to worship wherever they like and receive teaching, nourishment, fellowship etc from different places.

Speak Your Mind