A Lutheran Says What?

Sermons and random thoughts on God, the world and the intersection of the two

Transition to where I may take this blog July 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bweier001 @ 10:31 pm

So as my “required” blogs come to an end I am stymied by what I may do with this blog in the future. You see, I want its contents to be pertinent, entertaining and useful. Now many will argue that I haven’t been any of things yet so why start now, but I have greatly enjoyed this foray into “blogdom” as well as the new learning and thoughts that I have gained. YouTube has burgeoned from “entertainment” to serious content for me (I know that discernment there is needed) and I have a whole new take on what I may do with technology in faith formation-my passion.
I also am aware of the literary possibilities of a blog; a chance to hone and polish my writing skills. I greatly admire the blogs of Nadia Bolz-Weber and Norma Cook Everist. Nadia I love, partially because I know her and she frightens me a bit (she is MUCH taller than I am! I feel like a munchkin around her!), but mostly for her ability to get to the heart of the matter and call it out in such a way that people listen. She is learned and knowledgeable and has the rare ability to combine that with praxis. When I read her sermons on her blog, I often learn as much as when I take a whole class! (Please accept my humblest apologies to any professors that may be reading this!)
Norma Everist Cook is someone that I just met in April but again, she was a woman who is highly intelligent and can put those thoughts into action. She speaks as a theologian and someone who understands the “so what” component to theology. Her passions mirrors mine and I think that was part of my instant by-in to her workshop. (That, and she was the professor at Wartburg for my new internship supervisor and my best friend!) I intend on doing an invisible independent study with her this summer by reading three of her books. It is invisible in that she doesn’t know that I am studying her stuff! But I do intend on replying to her blog and bugging her with questions!
As I think about these two extraordinary women with different gifts and focuses but both from whom I learn so much from, I am prayerful and hopeful that perhaps I can be a resource for someone out in the world who’s only access to me initially may be this blog.
A concept for me from this class that I hope will continue to awe and humble me is that of connectivity. I truly hope that the scope of that nature is one that I never take for granted and keep in the forefront of all the ministry that I undertake, wherever that maybe!
So, I do intend on keeping this blog going. Blessings until we “talk again” in cyberspace!

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Life in a Day July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bweier001 @ 6:10 pm

So YouTube is advertising an experiment. On July 24, 2010 they want everyone to video themselves or their environment and upload it to YouTube. Ridley Scott, famed director of movies such as Alien, is going to weave them all together to make a movie that will be available on YouTube. The idea is to get perspectives from all around the globe. This is such an interesting idea! What is banal and ordinary in my life may be fascinating in someone else’s view. The other idea behind it is to use it as some sort of time capsule. In 20, 30 or 100 years will my blogging on wordpress.com or mowing the lawn seem quaint or novel?

A month ago, I never would have considered this, but I am thinking about participating! This got me to thinking….what if we did this global with the church? What if we picked a Sunday and asked Christians (or really expand this and make it interfaith!) to film their worship/meditation/celebrations that were happening on that particular day? A baptism in Africa, a Bible study in China, or an Eastern Orthodox mass in Europe. What could we discover about ourselves and our brothers and sisters in this sort of experiment? All of the expressions of the gospel of Jesus Christ if we focused on Christianity or all of the expressions of the God/Divine if we include our brothers and sisters of other traditions. I think this could be moving and beautiful. It could show us the interconnectedness of humanity as well as our similarities and blessed uniqueness. I am looking forward to seeing this Life in a Day film in its finished product, but I think perusing YouTube in the days following July 24th will be fascinating too!

 

Reflection on this journey of learning (section 5 of portfolio) July 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bweier001 @ 3:59 pm

So as the official, academic blogs come to an end (I only need a couple more) I am struck by how far I have come in a short amount of time. As I write the portfolio and final project, I can see how I have built on the educational knowledge that I already possessed and have integrated it to use it in another facet or avenue. I have been on the internet and thought about technology more in the last month more than I have in my previous 37 years! Not only that, but my confidence to use technology has exponentially increased. I can add links, find videos that I can use, integrate tech culture into sermons and somewhat successfully wade through what is useful on the internet and what is not. But most importantly for me, I have discovered that I can quickly access a myriad of voices on topics through other bloggers and learn so much from peers, acquaintances and complete strangers! I have been shown the wealth of great information that exists out there. It is all available for my participation, growth and for me to share.

One of my first blogs was “What can I learn about God in the computer?” My answer is that God is already present in cyber space (and all places obviously!) and is calling me to mission with God in all places of my life. I have accepted the invitation to join in this mission in cyber space in addition to the other places in the world. For me, as I reflect theologically on technology, I am humbled to know that I always need to be looking for God where I least expect it. While I did use the internet before this class, I did not reflect theologically on it much. It was a tool, a means to an end, or strictly one way communication. I now have a deeper understanding of community, interconnectivity and God’s presence.

An example of this is YouTube.com for me. Previous to this class I thought it was just funny videos that my kids watched. But I have seen how this medium communicates important humanitarian messages. I was on YouTube this morning for my final project and their was a “funny” video of soldiers occupying Hebron dancing. This two minute video had pop-ups on the travesty being done there and a direct link to a short documentary of the reality of the lives of the residents who are literally welded inside their houses. This led me to look up more information on the Palestinian occupation. I now feel like I have a connection to those people. And it all started with a “funny” video. We are being called to our brothers and sisters all over the world and the technology now exists for us to answer that call. Amen!

 

Will the real journalist please stand up? July 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bweier001 @ 4:05 pm

In the course of reading the materials for this class and integrating the concepts into the context in which I function, I have begun to notice certain elements that I was not conscious of before. For example, I was watching the news on television and noticed that about half of the stories involved video taken from someone’s cell phone! No longer did the 9 news journalists need to get in their van and drive to some remote part of CO for a story. They could see what viewers sent in and then write the copy around that. What a major shift in journalism! My college roommate was a journalist major and I can remember her having to figure out how to get places (neither one of us had a car) and then get her story and pictures turned in on a tight deadline (we had limited access to computers as well, we both had a Brother Word Processor!). Now, the news stations can focus where they want to send people and rely on the public to send in news. Does this make the news more or less balanced? Media has long been accused of being liberal, does this swing the pendulum? At the end, the stations still have complete control as to what gets reported so user generated news perhaps isn’t as big an impact as I am imagining. But it does beg the question: Are we all news gathers and “disseminaters” just as theologically we are the priesthood of all believers called to┬ádisseminate┬áthe gospel? Interesting points to ponder!

 

Re-reflections on my learning goals July 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bweier001 @ 10:21 pm

As we come to the last week or so of this class, I wanted to stop and re-reflect (I’m making up words now!) on what I wanted to learn and what I am learning. I wanted to learn how this medium can convey God’s love and grace. Mary Hess correctly centered me on what God is trying to convey to me in cyberspace and I have thought about this some. I think, perhaps, one thing that God may be communicating to me is all of the possibilities and that I have so much to learn and be exposed to! I was daunted about this medium because I am not an expert by any means and often feel in over my head. HMMM….Perhaps God doesn’t want me to lose this wonderment about ministry in general! I usually feel that I have a good grasp on education and faith formation as I have done it for a long time. But am I getting stagnate? Should I feel more “in over my head” in all areas of ministry so that I remember that it is God who works through me and I have nothing to do with it anyway? I think so! This class has sparked so much for me in all areas of ministry as well as forcing me to revisit what I thought I knew about teaching and have learned in the past. Essentially, I am always integrating and synthesizing!

Learning goals that I had from my education class at Iliff were specifically around older youth and adult faith formation. This class has given me confidence that I can integrate technology into lesson plans and it does not have to be complex and it can be a hybrid of tech and some “traditional” classroom techniques. The first time I ever “really” used technology was last year with a senior high youth Sunday school lesson around a song on YouTube by Casting Crowns called “Slow Fade.” I didn’t have a great idea of how to really engage this and the youth could tell! I was so nervous just trying to get the video to play that the rest of the lesson was, frankly, not so much. I think that now I would have a bit more confidence and could engage this completely differently and use it in a more authentic way. I was just happy before to be on YouTube! I have already come a long way and I can’t wait to see how else God grows me in this medium as well as others!