Skype, Sacraments and Spirituality

Some interesting articles here on the use of Skype to enhance pastoral ministry.

This one  from Fr Austin Fleming in Boston, at A Concord Pastor Comments.

and this one  from Mike Hayes author, commentator, Campus Minister and Spiritual Director at Googling God.

This parish in Glasgow, Scotland has been using Skype since 2009 to help connect parishioners to missionaries abroad.

This Presbyterian Church uses Skype to network groups once a month in youth ministry.

This article widens the discussion a little and raises some questions.

The various interfaces for social communication are evolving rapidly and so too will the use of them . As there are many people for whom conventional church has become difficult or irrelevant it is interesting to debate how important  the various manifestations of "virtual church"  will become in the future.

Looking for information on this has been interesting- Some parishes have even appointed Skype ministry teams.

Using Skype as an "official" vehicle for widening access and introducing flexible pastoral initiatives to reach people who may otherwise not be able to participate in the conventional life of a parish offers exciting and powerful possibilities.

But inevitable questions arise in my mind on a minefield of controversial areas like professional training, accountability, online safety, confidentiality and the potential for abuse. Legislation and dossiers of guidelines no doubt would be needed !!

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