facebook, social networking and community

Faith and leadership, an online publication from Duke Divinity School, has an article this week about creating a spiritual community through Facebook.  The article, “Where two or more are gathered… on Facebook” discusses how the author and several of her fellow alumni created a small church community on line after the tragic death of one of their mutual friends.  I have found myself creating similar friendships through online communities, though often they are not based around  the church.  Rather they are created by a group of people (often women) who have something in common with me.  We talk about whatever major subject, usually horses or art, which brought us together until some tragedy, great or small strikes a member.  then the request for prayers, positive thoughts, and in one group “fairy dust” is sent out to the group membership.  The group then figuratively  gathers around the hurting member and offers encouragement, advise and prayers from literally around the globe.  Having been both the person receiving the prayers and offering the prayers, the only real difference I experience between these virtual communities and the local church community is that I don’t get to enjoy the warmth of human touch that often accompanies prayer.   However, I do take comfort in the knowledge that due to the nature of the internet, I know that somewhere someone is praying for me 24 hours a day.  That knowledge is a powerful and amazing experience.   It is also remarkably humbling.

So, how to you perceive the faith community on line?  What have been your experiences?

~ by sideseat on December 8, 2009.

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