Our Common Life: It about Relationships

Earlier this week, I sat in a Starbuck’s coffee shop with a few young adults and a pastor. After spending an hour or so talking, I pulled out my iPad and friended them on Facebook, collected their email addresses and promised to stay in contact with them as well as help them connect with others. When I returned to my office the next morning, I spent at least another hour making those connections that I had promised to help them make.

If you watch the video below, you’ll see some stunning statistics about the growth of social networking and the role it’s playing in how we connect.


The point the video makes early on is that social networking isn’t about technology, it’s about relationships. This isn’t really revolutionary, we are just creating new ways to do what humankind has always done – build social buy zantac 150 uk networks that help support and sustain us.

The church has also been exploiting this fact of human nature for millennia. We’ve been gathering to sing and pray, struggle and grow in our faith, and give and receive care and support. Through one another we connect to God through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

No matter how fast the world changes, we are still about relationships, making connections.

How do you see yourself making connections and building relationships in the next decade? How do you see your church reaching out to spread the message of the gospel?

Make some connections with other UCC churches at our upcoming events:
April 19, 2012 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. — Iowa Conference Facebook Party with special guest Kelly Burd
June 7-10, 2012 – Iowa Conference 50th Birthday Celebration at Grinnell College

-Nicole Havelka, Associate Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adult Ministries

4 Responses to Our Common Life: It about Relationships

  1. Nancy Filkins says:

    Nicole: It is all about relationships and I can see how the Social Media Revolution plays an important part in developing these relationships through church and spiritual events. I also just viewed a ted.com talk by Sherry Turkle, where she cautions us to use the social media wisely, still taking the time to listen, actually be physically present at times and be in face-to-face conversation (along with using social media). I am also interested in your thoughts of her research and observations. I did consider responding to you by e-mail, but I didn’t want my thoughts to be dismissed as being “old technology”, so I am stepping out of my comfort zone and responding via the blog–great topic! Thanks!

  2. Julie Eberbach says:

    Hi Nicole, I truly appreciate Nancy’s comments and I thought about lifting up Sherry Turkle’s work as well. I often feel as if I “don’t get it” when it comes to our attachment (dare I say, addiction?) to technology. I say this as a full fledged technology user – I text, Facebook, email (although that’s pretty “old school” now), and I rely heavily on that. I work professionally for a agency that is a technology based organization. We operate a state wide web enabled data network – I train people on how to use technology. But…I am concerned; deeply concerned about where all of this may lead. I often meditate on these words: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ” Romans 12:2
    In the end…I think the church can and should use technology, but I also believe that it is easy…very easy…to lose ourselves to it.
    I echo Nancy again, this is a great blog topic. I look forward to others comments.

  3. Nadine says:

    A number of authors propound the theory that their are no coincidences. I find it interesting that I entered this blog after spending last night catching up on Phyllis Tickles’ book on The Great Emergence. As she reviews history, it can be noted that the printing press (books, newspapers), radio, the telephone, TV, etc. did what continuing technology is doing now. It has brought people and their ideas together in ways not previously possible. Nothing replaces the personal – face to face – but all technologies introduce us to a huge population – a reservoir of thoughts, behaviors, theologies, philosophies, sciences – that are taking us through the rapid (considering changes in culture are rarely quick like a bunny – more like rapid like a turtle) paradigm shifts. It isn’t so much that technology is good or bad – it is the living in a time when the old is being analyzed and discarded or reworked as well as new thinking mixed in to bring about our ’emergence’ – renaissance – re-formation. So – NOOK-it, KINDLE-it, iPad and iPod and MP3 it, email it, Facebook it, etc. etc. etc. until each person grabs hold of what can be some well being. No more sola scriptura, scriptura sola – no more sola Christus – but a continuing move toward the activity of the Holy Spirit working through the philosophies and sciences and theologies of the mind, body, soul, and spirit – to explore the valued ‘Me’ and share life with others-all creation observed, conserved, reserved, preserved, served.

    • Dianne says:

      Yes, it’s still about relationships. Facebook, for instance, has given me a way to minister that would not otherwise be available, but the heart of the matter is not the technology, but the connections that I make, be it as a friend, as an advisor, as a mentor…and it’s often apparent that I’m connecting in the name of Jesus.

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