The Church Center has released an app for the iPad called Wayfarer. The first program on the app is a beautiful program on Alaska focussing on Kivalina, Alaska, “which chronicles the story of Indigenous Alaskans faced with having to move their entire village to higher ground because of rising sea temperatures.” Some wonder why there is little identification with The Episcopal Church as the source of Wayfarer?:
The Episcopal Church Office of Communication has launched its first iPad app, Wayfarer. Available as a free, quarterly iPad app downloadable at iTunes, all the content can also be viewed in an Internet browser here.
“Wayfarer features compelling stories told through video, photographs and words,” said Lynette Wilson, Wayfarer producer. Wilson, who is also an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service, addressed the appropriateness of the name. “We chose to name the app Wayfarer because we intend to tell a wide spectrum of stories about people, possibilities and action across a broad landscape,” she said.
“This is an exciting moment – it represents our entry into mobile content, appealing both to Episcopal and broader audiences,” noted Anne Rudig, Director of Episcopal Church Office of Communication. “As the title suggests, each issue of Wayfarer has been shot in a different far-flung location.”
Those who have downloaded the app have affirmed the idea but wonder about the lack of readily noticed link to The Episcopal Church.
From The Rev. Mike Russell, Deputy to General Convention 2012 from the Diocese of San Diego:
Given our conversations about our entrance into the digital universe I was delighted to see an ENS announcement of a new App from the Episcopal Digital Network that told stories in high def video, presumably about TEC’s ministries. I went to the app in iTunes only to discover there was NO identification of it with TEC.
I tweeted them asking how this could be so and they tweeted this back: “There is a church logo on the lower right when the videos play RT @FrMike The App has no explicit mention of The Episcopal Church …”
They have added it now to the app page above the app’s “Wayfarer” name, but the descriptive text still says nothing about the Episcopal Church.
Just a few minutes ago I asked them why they were not highlighting TEC and this is their answer:
“@FrMike @episcopal_news We hope to reach a wide audience and don’t want potential readers to be confused by a word they may not know.”
A second tweet just arrived: “@FrMike @episcopal_news Or feel it’s not for them because it’s just by and for Episcopalians.”
I just tweeted back “@EDigiNet @episcopal_news Perhaps this ought to be a vehicle for introducing the church to them. To hide affiliation is a dubious practice.
Russell adds: “I remain baffled why we are funding independent film crews to make films that do not highlight TEC. They could have discussed TEC’s involvement with environmental issues, or even our rejection of the Doctrine of Discovery consonant with highlighting the situation of first Americans. It does none of these.”
Hmmm. Fail? or Not Fail?