By Walker Adams
I love Facebook. It is a great way for me to keep track of what is going on with my friends, find out who has a birthday, and see my cousins vacation pictures. As much as I love Facebook, I think I love Twitter more. Twitter brings me a constant source of news and information. It allows me to have conversations with people I may have met only once, or people I have never met at all (which is how this article even came about). What I love most about Twitter though is that following trending topics enables me to see what is going on around the world, and gives me a glimpse into what people around me think is important (or not). In short, it keeps me in touch with society.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was in our diocese (West Missouri) this week to celebrate the centennial celebration feast day of one of our parishes, St. Andrew’s. She preached about St. Andrew, evangelism, and compared various fishing techniques to spreading the gospel, encouraging us to find what bait attracts us and use it to fish for others. While I loved her sermon, and wholeheartedly agree with her, I fear we as Episcopalians spend less time fishing and more time keeping the aquarium.
Let me explain. Over the course of the last few days as I have been reflecting on the words of our Presiding Bishop in comparison to Bishop Kirk Smith’s sermon “Digital Bishop”. As a young Episcopalian I am disheartened, and not surprised, at statements like “80% of people looking for a church to attend for the first time, go to the internet, and yet only 20% of Episcopal churches have an active and up-to-date website.” or that “Of the 110 active bishops in this country, only six are on Twitter.” (Although I think Twitter informed me that a few have joined since this sermon was preached, thanks be to God). Growing up in a digital age with a digital mind frame, I do not understand why the church would attend to current culture from the pulpit and preach the gospel as it relates to war in the Middle East, or the greed and need associated with this time of year, but will not take the step to log into Twitter and hashtag #BlackFriday. I understand sometimes the aquarium needs attention, but eventually it also needs fish, and it seems foolish for us to wait for them to jump into our Episcopal tank.
So, my challenge to the church during advent is this: don’t waste your Advent waiting for Mary to give birth to Jesus. Instead, make your faith incarnate right here, right now. Log into Twitter, find a trending topic, and preach the gospel in an ocean where the fish are. Will you proclaim by word, tweet, and example the Good News in Christ Jesus?
Walker Adams (@walkeradams1) is a senior music education major at The Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Day School (@StPaulsKCMO) in The Diocese of West Missouri.