I just finished watching this greeting Bruce recorded for Trinity Presbytery. I had a smile on my face during the whole clip. Oops, maybe I shouldn't refer to him so casually as Bruce. That's Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). That's a mouthful. Ok, back to explaining my reaction to bruce's electronic presbytery greeting. Many presby friends and commissioners I know walked away from from general assembly asking questions like...
"how will the church respond to bruce and his Web 2.0NESS?"
"will they know what to do with him?"
"does this mean we need to start training our elders how to blog?
Some of these questions were fair and others just came from a place of not getting it. I can't speak for Bruce but I'm pretty sure he isn't trying to model the only way of doing church. He's modeling the way that best meets the needs of his community of faith and openly sharing some of the tools he's learned to use along the way.
This video is a great example of what I'm talking about. Over the last few months when Bruce has learned of events that he can't attend in person he's offered to send greetings live via skype video or record a greeting like this. In past years its taken a minimum of 6 months for a moderator to film a greeting, have it edited and then distributed across the church. Tools like YouTube.com and web cams give the church the ability to communicate with one another face to face much more quickly.
This video made me smile because I know the conversations it might spark. After watching some commissioners might ask how he did that? Could we record videos like that for our church? Presbytery staff might see this as a way to communicate more effectively to churches on a regular basis. Who knows?
That's enough of my random thoughts for now.
Now heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeers Bruce!