Sunday, August 31, 2014

Here and about- Greenfield Village-- Part 2

Late summer is a great time to visit here
 when everything is in full bloom.

a bit about this Village:
The Henry Ford is a large indoor and outdoor
 history museum complex and a
 National Historic Landmark
 in the Metro Detroit Suburb of Dearborn, Michigan.
Named for its founder, 
the noted automobile industrialist
 Henry Ford, and based on his desire 
to preserve items of historical significance
 and portray the Industrial Revolution, 
the property houses a vast array of famous homes,
 machinery, exhibits, and Americana.
 The collection contains many rare exhibits
 including John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine,
 Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theater,
 Thomas Edison's laboratory, 
the Wright Brother's bicycle shop,
 and the Rosa Parks bus.

Our outing day included mostly walking by
 and viewing some of the homes and shops
 moved to the Village.

This home also has much of the original furniture

 of the Wright family

 set up exactly how they used it.

The Wright Brothers Bicycle shop
They built the plane they flew at Kitty Hawk
 in the back of this shop.

This plane was assembled in pieces
 in the back of the bike shop.

This was so amazing----
 still thinking about this and the time line
 for their genius.

This house was built on land owned
 by Stephen Foster's father and moved here in 1934.

Also included in the Village are:

 Luther Burbank's office,
the growing up home of Noah Webster,

the Logan County, Illinois Courthouse where Abraham

 Lincoln practiced law,

a replica of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park

 laboratory in New Jersey

 and Robert Frost's home. 

Auntie Jess and Griffin

for the delight of a day here

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Here and About- Greenfield Village- Dearborn, MI.- Part 1

The Cotswald Cottage- 
GreenfieldVillage- Dearborn, MI
A piece of England brought to Michigan
You can't go wrong headed here
 for Tea on a beautiful afternoon.
(full tea- $12 per person)

especially if it means spending the time
 with daughter Jessica
and her nephew- Griffin

Where iconic still lifes have formed
by moving the homes or pieces of American History 
to one location to be enjoyed by many folks

When a century melts away in the blink of an eye

This working farm still tills the soil and reaps the harvest

The windmill waits for stirring breezes.
The park also has:
The Cape Cod Windmill, also known as the Farris mill,
 is considered one of the oldest in America. 
It was originally built in 1633 on the north side of Cape Cod.
 It was moved several times around Cape Cod
 until it was gifted to Henry Ford from the Ford Dealers Association, 
and installed in Greenfield Village in 1936.

And water stills the day
 for feeding geese along the edge

As yellow tilts the sunshine meter to full tilt.

When a walk across a bridge
 melts away the years

Check out more info about this
 Historical Family place to visit:
the henry ford village

Next post: some of the historical places gathered here

A special thanks to Linda Torbert Meier for making this outing happen for all of us.

Friday, August 29, 2014

eformation-When you Need Expert Help

eformation-#12 in the series (and the last)

Thanks for hanging in there for this whole series.
 Had no idea how many posts this might be-
 guess there is a bit more to say about
 electronic spiritual formation
 than I might have thought.
Certainly know more about it than 5 years ago.

But, it is time to give you a few references
 and links to some "Professional" help. 

Our church District and some individual churches
 workwith a professional social media expert.
That is a BIG TIME help.
It is important for a technical helper
 to meet you right where you are and then
be very honest about where you need to move to,
 and how you can get there.
Highly suggest this for any organization
 looking to add a social media focus.
Can save you a lot of heart ache in the long run.
Bold Whisper---and Jennifer Einolf
Jennifer Einolf---Check out Jennifer Einolf on Pinterest

Some para church organizations
 are taking the plunge into social media
 and are willing to bring you along on the journey.
Want to learn more?
Mark your calendar--- 
The date for the eformation 2015 conference
 is the first part of June again,
in Alexandria, Va for next year.
Here is the program from the 2014 conference-

 Check out some
 books and resources about the
 Church and Social Media,
 or frame your own social media ministry calling.
 I have collected the resources
 I used in my research project
 from this past year.
(for completion of a Master's at Concordia Chicago-
 in Church and Community Leadership)

Here is the Pinterest board -Church-social-media-gospel.

Names that have been especially helpful include:
Meridith Gould- author
Julie Anne Lytle-author
Elizabeth Drescher-author
Jennifer Einolf- Bold Whisper
Keith Andersen-author
John Roberto- author
Seth Hinz-Web Media Director at the Michigan District - LCMS

Kyle Matthew Oliver-Digital Missioner and Learning Lab Coordinator
in the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary

Here is a thoughtful reflection from Kyle:

And so we pray:
Heavenly Father, may you use us as 
your vessels to be refashioned, reformed,
 and yielded to the work of the Holy spirit within us.
Help us to let go of pride that stands in the way
 of being useful for your purpose where you
 are already working in your Kingdom.
Give us the grace to start over, try again,
 experiment with something new,
 for the sake of those that do NOT know you yet.
That they may hear your Love Whisper,
 and respond, because we have cared enough
 to keep on keeping on,
for each ONE that you LOVE.  Amen.

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
Revelation 14:12

Monday, August 25, 2014

eformation- Deploying Digital Missionaries

#11 in the eformation series

About two years ago I began
 to think about the work
 of blogging, pinning, and tweeting
 as missionary efforts. 
Leaving the parking lot of many churches,
 I often see a sign that says-
Go in Peace
  You are Entering the Missionary Field.

The more I thought about it,
 the more I began to see
 the digital world
 as a missionary field.
Then, I connected that to the thought
 that a vacuum always gets filled.
 I was also having a challenging time
finding authentic, 
valid, good Doctrine, sound theology sites
 to follow and recommend.

If, we as Christians,
 are not going to fill the void,
 it will be filled. 
Perhaps it is time for us to add
 to the digital world.

I have a small following on my blog.
It was started as a place to encourage my family.
Then, I began to take notice of the AUDIENCE.
This is who is reading this week-

United States---728

On blogspot, it is possible to add

 the widget of Google Translator.
The blog is then read
 in the language of choice.
All around the WORLD. 
I had to look up Moldova.
It is a landlocked country in eastern Europe 
located between Romania to its west
 and Ukraine to its north, east and south.
Moldova declared itself an 
independent state
 in 1991 with the dissolution
 of the Soviet Union.

So, Really?
 People in other countries are looking
 at this spot and the writing?
Seeing what it looks like 
to be a follower of Jesus.
From my living room.
In Virginia.
The United States.

What if we began to raise up writers,
and bloggers that were united
 to do this as a team?
With Kingdom goals in mind?
For the sake of God's plan
 of redemption for His world?

What if we 
 digital missionaries?

All ages and stages of life.
Through economic levels.
Joining all sorts of life vocations-

That is the way I have approached
 my involvement with all digital media.
Social for the sake of the Gospel.

What might our REACH be together?
With the grace of God
 and Holy Spirit leading,
we do not have to control where
in the name of JESUS goes.
We are simply called to be obedient.

Where might the Holy Spirit
 be asking you to touch the world with

Thursday, August 21, 2014

eformation- Don't Count the Boomers Out

 #10 in the eformation Series

"The boomers, who have tread new ground
 and changed the landscape of culture and society
 throughout their lifespan
 are rapidly tipping into retirement.
 Being adventuresome, many are on the cutting edge
 of technology. At the same time, they are discovering
 the physical, emotional, and psychological changes
 that occur as they grow older and live longer.
 What does the church offer this group? 
And more specifically, 
what is the role of digital ministry
 in fostering communications, building relationships, 
and exploring spirituality among adults 65-100?"
 Dorothy Lithicum - Program Coordinator and Instructor
 for the Center for the Ministry of Teaching
 at  Virginia Theological Seminary

Every age and stage of life
 is God-ordained and therefore has a purpose.

Some workshop gleanings:

The Unites States has more people 65+
than the entire population of CANADA.

As many people 75+ leave our churches
 as the youth after Confirmation.

This is the reason for the growth of boomers
 becoming internet savvy and learning
 about social media tools-

The fastest growing group of internet users
 is the group 75+
 because of this new generation
 of grands and great-grands.

 Health reasons often become the reason
older adults no longer can attend Bible Studies
 and worship services. 
They are seeking internet resources
 for faith encouragement and spiritual growth tools.
It is no longer a once a month Communion
 visit from clergy 
that keeps them connected to "church".

Having resources for them to "SHARE"
 among friends 
lets them know they are not
 a forgotten slice of the population.

The Passing of Faith from One Generation 
to the Next is the Greatest Gift
 we Give to both the Boomers and the Builders.

Five Practices for Ministries for Boomers
Make it:
                                 John Roberto

Social Media connections can be built in
 as a basic part of Boomer Ministry.

Visual social media- Facebook and Pinterest
are two of the fastest growing sites for Boomers.

Often the Boomers want to be SHOWN HOW
 to use social media tools.
They are not digital natives,
 so find it less intuitive. 

As they have learned that to keep
 in the communication loop, 
they must set out to "KEEP UP",
 they form a highly motivated group.

And they "get it" -
when the church talks about deploying
digital missionaries.

Monday, August 18, 2014

eformation- When the Church Leads

#9 in the eformation Series

Some collected notes here for church leaders
and layleaders
from the eformation conference 2014.

The main purpose of online ministry:
 Educate Encourage and Equip.

The primary audience for online ministry is :
1) existing congregants
2) the other relationships their congregants have.
(The church has said for awhile
 that it is the unchurched,
 but the reality proves that it is relationship driven.
It is the friends of the members.)

The main job of church leaders
 is to get OTHERS
to do the social media.

The ministry markers of
 interaction points include:
the public setting- (worship,
teaching settings, even church meetings)
 phone, social media,
 back channel-
(private notes on social media)
 and IRL-in real life,
(chatting over coffee at Starbucks).
ALL of these venues become settings
 for conversations and engagement
 that connect to a leader's circle of influence.
ALL of these connections
 can have spiritual forming

 Social media success today depends on 
thinking VISUALLY about goals and message.

Art has always been a gateway to the sacred-
it is effective in social media connections.

Consistent branding across all profiles
 is necessary to build recognizable connections.

Engage a few key participants
 that will participate by sharing posts
 on their own social media sites.

It is important to do tagging
 with keywords and #hashtags.

Pace posts.
A Facebook page that has been dormant
 for a month is as good as nonexistent.

Groups are not necessarily community.

Social media communication
 has disbanded space, time,
 and age boundaries for engagement.

If you are posting-
then it is important to comment on other posts-
after all it is SOCIAL media.

The most critical aspect for planning is to make sure that:
is determined BEFORE:

The liturgical calendar
 is the best organizational tool
 for bringing help to families in your community.
Think about bringing them faith formation tools 
that are SEASONAL,
 not weekly.

  Be realistic about what families
 might be able to participate in/add to family life living.

In every aspect of social media engagement:
Cover all plans in PRAYER, and
 trust the work of the HOLY SPIRIT.
 Remember that you are doing
 more than sharing information-
you are creating SACRED SPACE online.

Notes taken from sessions with:
Meredith Gould, Sharon Ely Pearson,
John Roberto, Tom Tomaszek

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

eformation- your online PRESENCE

#8 in the eformation Series

Wading into the write, like, publish, share and
 comment world online takes a bit of
getting used to the rhythm of digital media.
It can have a life of its own.
That can be good and bad-
in the networked super highway.

My dip into the blogging world
 happened nearly five years ago.
(now 10 years ago) 
My early connections were some personal blogs 
that were more like spewing,
 ranting and raving discourses and I quickly left that- 
vowing never to return.
Then, when the visual world
 began to catch up to the written word-
I was drawn in, and hooked.

 Looking for the stories of online PRESENCE-
 that brought HOPE, HELP, 
 with words of encouragement.

Surely someone was online
 already offering that voice?
Women writers…
single and married…
mommas and not…
on the journey?
It has been a daunting task
 to discover where they are…
to listen for their heart…..
On the right side of my blog is-
The list of some blogs worthy of following, 
that have a spiritual forming purpose.
They are in order of their most recent posts.

Not all female. Not all Lutheran.
But valid, and valuable voices
 for reading
 and listening
to their small pieces of life-learned lessons.
What I have learned in the three years
(now 8 years)
 of online presence-
is that it is VERY IMPORTANT to decide-
 HOW I will be online.
 Not fake, but always with words that build up, 
and never tear down.
The careful voice of mentoring
 given to 3 daughters growing up,
 applies here online too.
Grace always,
  the beginning and end, in all things shared.

There are always multiple points of view.
 What is one piece of information
 that might change how we see another's story?
the picture of this transformative journey
 that we have been on since our Baptism?

And finally- do my words bless others?
No other posture is worth the time, energy,
 and space
 in my daily conversations
 or the ones that fill the internet.

 Our spiritual formation
 impacted with digital connections 
is eformation.
be Christlike,
 bless others, 
encourage and build one another up.

 Don’t use foul or abusive language. 
Let everything you say be good and helpful,
 so that your words will be an encouragement 
to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29  NLT

(some updates have been added to share this again)

Monday, August 11, 2014

eformation- Create and Curate

#7 in the eformation Series

At the formation conference I attended,
 one of the helpful insights for tending, 
and monitoring the world of digital social media
 is understanding the two basic formats
 for sharing information.
Without content,
 not very much can happen socially online.
There needs to be content that generates 
what digital strategists call engagement, 
or interaction.
 who develop content- photos, stories, videos
and then SHARE.
who scroll through
 vast amounts of the internet-
filter, promote, edit, analyze, credit,
and then SHARE.
Although the Christian world
 is certainly planted firmly in the digital world,
the masses do look to their churches and leaders
 to help them 
wade through the massive amount of information
 available in today's world.
Who is their trusted resource?
Church leaders and lay leaders
you are influential, 
whether you have picked up that title
 in the social media world or not.
A lack of engagement only sends members
 or school families looking elsewhere.
A social media void in your online presence speaks -

Meridith Gould in her book The Social Media Gospel,
has wonderful help for both churches and leaders
 to steer them into the digital sharing age.

At the conference, Meredith stated that the
 conversation is no longer- 
" should we be on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest?" 
There are new questions- 
"How do we integrate our social media presence?
"How do we measure our success?"

The reason for having a digital social presence
 is NOT to simply get more people
 sitting in the pews or attending your school.
(though that CAN happen)
It is NOT to simply promote event,
 after event, after event.

"In the world of church,
 we need to create and curate content
 in the joyful hope of sharing the Gospel, 
ministering to others, and developing community,"
 says Gould.
Where in the world are you?
How do you (or your church)
 interact with your neighboring area?
What is THAT story?
How do you navigate living as a Christian
 in a non-Chrisitan world?

Gould explains: "In the world of social media,
 quality social media content
 action that's Christ-centered and anchored
 in Gospel values. 
With a reverential nod to St. Paul the Apostle,
 social media content does not boost, it is not proud,
 it is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
 and does not delight in evil,
 but rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:4-6).
Gould offers some guidelines for quality content- 
both created and curated.

Will it enhance your
 audiences' knowledge,
deepen their understanding,
strengthen their faith,
 stimulate conversation, 
and build community?

If you are contemplating entry, or
are in the process of creating
a strategy plan
 in the social media world-
make a plan,
establish guidelines
 about your presence 
and build a team!