Big Tech and the Church: Imagining Opportunities and Challenges Going Forward

Thursday, June 17th, 3:00pm EDT (8.00pm BST)

Please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/156567514651

The pandemic forced the Church to move online to a greater extent than ever before. Suddenly worship was moved from in-person to online. Fellowship, community-building, and Christian education all became hybrid experiences. Much was good in this forced evolution. Positivity and creativity emerged as experiments found success or failed to capture the needs of the moment.

With the end of our current health pandemic in sight, questions remain about the relationship between the Church and technology (and, not just the technology tools but the companies that run these platforms as money-generating enterprises). During this panel, our participants will tackle questions like:

Is ‘online church’ simply about accessing the tech needed for online services or are we baptizing Facebook, Instagram, whatever, and calling it 'church’?

How do we avoid re-creating Christian subcultures online while imagining different and better futures in which all can contribute towards a new understanding?

How can attention to relationship and a ‘beyond in the midst’ when online encourage us to pause and reflect?

Underlying these questions are societal and ethical issues raised by the actions of Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. As we think about using these platforms for the Church, how do we account for the business models of friendship platforms, the platforms’ monetization of data, and discerning approaches to free speech and taxation. Finally, with all this complexity, how can the Church be a counterpoint to the neglect that comes from both instant responses and an assumption of human control?

Join our panel for this important discussion.

Panelists include:

  • Genelle Aldred - Head of Communications, The Pipeline, Owner, GA/C; London, United Kingdom
  • Stacy Williams Duncan - Founder, Learning & Change Strategist at Learning ForTE, Rector, Little Fork Episcopal Church; Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Mark Howe - CEO, MVH Solutions; Avignon, France
  • John Reader - Associate Researcher, William Temple Foundation

Please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/156567514651