This post is part of the Social Media Sunday series. Read the introductory post here.
In addition to specifically finding places in our liturgy to engage with social media, we had a lot of email communication to do with the congregation to prepare them for it, to make sure that folks were going to bring the appropriate devices with them, and to share more our reasonings behind wanting to do this Sunday. Here is a portion of our primary communication about Social Media Sunday:
This Sunday, WPC will worship in ways both familiar and new, as we experience a new adventure we’re calling “Social Media Sunday” together. Whether you are engaged in social media or not, we hope you will join us for this worship, which will be rooted in our familiar traditions, while reaching for some new places together.
Why are we doing this? Because our world is changing and as disciples of Christ we must prepare to live faithfully in this new world. New technologies for communication and community building have made new kinds of connectivity possible, and we Christians are in the connectivity business! So we are taking a Sunday to imagine and practice together, in the space of worship, how can Christians live actively and faithfully in the digital world? What might we learn from this emerging space, and what might our faith and God’s light contribute to it?
As a congregation, we will be using social media to engage with worship in four primary ways:
- Check in to Winnetka Presbyterian Church by Facebook or Foursquare. Let folks know you’re at church and that we are embarking on this Social Media Sunday adventure.
- Submit prayers for the world, our nation, our city, and our community via Twitter or Facebook.
- Engage in discussion about the sermon by Twitter or Facebook.
- Offer a worship take-away for others by Twitter or Facebook.
If you are not a social media user, this Sunday’s worship will still be rich for you, too! It will still feel like worship, and participating in this exploration helps welcome and include others, especially young people.
Feel free to be in touch with Adam or David if you have any questions, and a Social Media Help Desk (staffed by WPC youth) will be available starting at 9am Sunday morning, and after worship.
If you’re not able to make it to worship tomorrow, you can still join us online by watching the livestream and participating in social networks by using the #wpcworship hashtag.
There were also quite a few logistics that needed to be worked out so that things would move smoothly.
- We needed to make sure we had better WiFi in the sanctuary, and an Apple Airport Extreme worked just fine for us.
- I made some fliers and handouts to leave at the Help Desk. One was just some basic stats about social media, and the other was a “New to Twitter?” handout that gave examples of who might be interesting or funny to follow as they got into Twitter. You can download the fliers here: Social Media Stats or New to Twitter.
- I created a hashtag for the service: #wpcworship. The hashtag was great because I could then use a service like Storify to find and collate all the tweets and updates that used the #wpcworship hashtag.
- We live-streamed the service using an iPod Touch and Ustream, and so we needed to test that out and make sure it was going to work for our purposes.
Help Desk: We also wanted to provide an opportunity before and after the service for folks to get help with social media. I setup three computers for a “Social Media Help Desk.” This Help Desk was run by our youth, and they helped a few people get signed up for Facebook and Twitter, and helped answer any questions they might have had.
All in all, it definitely was a lot more to plan for than a typical Sunday morning service, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Tomorrow I’ll talk more about the experience of actually doing Social Media Sunday.