Social Media and "The Episcopal Church welcomes You."

Found this over on The Episcopal Church media channel on Vimeo. Its a bit old, but still useful. It is an interesting video filled with facts that challenge the way we communicate and suggest how social media is making for a new way of connecting in the world. 

The thing is, it ends with an Episcopal Church logo / slogan. You know the one:  "The Episcopal Church welcomes You."  It's a good slogan, but the video suggests that if we are really interested in getting people to engage with Church, instead of getting them to come to the product, its website or its venue, we find ways of being invited into their social stream. It is not "The Episcopal Church welcomes you" it is "The Episcopal Church is welcome here." The sign is not ours, it belongs to the users of social media. The church needs to connect with the interests, concerns, questions, that already drive the development of social connection, social interest, social life.

Take a look at the video. Then ask, what does Fr Matthew know about connecting in that seems to be missing in "The Episcopal Church welcomes You."?  Ask "how do we get invited into people's social media circles?" Maybe these are the wrong questions, if so raise better ones.

Here is the Video:

The Power of Social Media from The Episcopal Church on Vimeo.


  1. I'm a little concerned that "how do we get invited in?" sounds a bit needy. Since social media is open to all to contribute, I'd suggest the question, "What do we have to share through social media?"

    I'm amazed at how many times I have heard church people say that they don't need to use social media because "none of our members are using it." Well, what about the people who AREN'T members? Wouldn't it be worthwhile to reach them?

    Do you know about the Church and Social Media blog at http://churchsocmed.blogspot.com/, and on twitter @chsocm? They have a weekly tweetchat on Tuesdays at 9:00 EST on this topic.

    And to toot my own horn a bit, I am a social media and marketing consultant who also happens to be an Episcopal priest. I write about using social media at http://cephasmedia.com/cephas-media-blog.html and on Twitter @cephasmedia.

  2. I think we're asking the wrong question. It's not about being invited in. It's about being a presence and being inviting.

    It was ever thus.

  3. LKT good point. Good question. My though was really an ol'speak thought...we spend all the time saying the Episcopal Church welcomes you, meaning you can come here and be like us. I've always thought it would be great that we did such meaningful stuff in the world that people would have stickers on their doors (like shops that say Visa welcome here) and they would say "Episcopalians welcome here."

    I've always thought it was important to find a way to be invited in to peoples lives. You have translated an ol' fart into reasonable social media speak. Thanks.

  4. Elizabeth... actually that question "about being invited in" was mine alone. As far as I know most church people don't think much about how to get into worlds they don't usually live in, or houses either.

    As the philosopher and spiritual character that you are, of course being a presence and being inviting is on target, particularly in blogland. Your side bar about "Come on in! Make yourself comfortable. Welcome to the conversation." is precisely that. Mine is not particularly a welcoming into a conversation.

    I think social media requires some level of being an inviting presence, and your blog does that.

    Preludium was cranked up to serve a purpose, and has wandered a bit from that but returns usually. The purpose was (and is) to add a voice to those who believe that The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion both have a future worth working for, provided the realignment crowd does not simply take over because there was no interest in the struggle to maintain some sanity (and dare I say) some compassion in both TEC and the AC.

    So you are closer to being a social media presence and inviting and opening out conversations about faith and life viewed with you as guide and vision writer.

    I use social media a lot, but still fall into using it as a tool, not a virtual place to be.

    But I learn from the best.

  5. LKT...just checked your blog. Good stuff. Thanks for the tip. I've tweeted it to those few who follow.

  6. Thank you! That's very kind!

  7. Thanks
    I stole your video (with credit) for my 1000th post:
    My primary point is that we need to be there in the social media world - my twitter profile is the 2nd most-followed in NZ. There is a hunger for spirituality that doesn't necessarily translate into people on pews IMO.



  8. All, check our Trinity +ST Peter's ( San Francscio) Facebook page: www.facebook.com/trinitystpeters .I started this page about 6 months ago and have encountered many of the issues you raise in the discussion. Would love to have your input.

    Ann Simms

  9. I manage the FN page for Trinity +StPeters in San Francisco. The site is about 6 months old and I have encountered many of the issues already raised. Would love feedback on the page and any ideas you may have in engaging congregations in the use of social media as a ministry.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.