“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”
The new buzz-phrase of the day is
“social media”. Social media is not unfamiliar to any of us. We are all accustomed to televisions, telephones, fax machines, newspapers, radios, bill-boards, street-signs, and storefront signs - these are all places where communication takes place. Today, a significant amount of information sharing is also accomplished through computers, smart-phones, i-pads, and tablets. The internet is the road by which the information travels.
One of the applications that you can find on the internet is “Facebook”. Facebook has had a major influence on our society because we are able to connect with friends, old and new, with whom we can share photos, videos or news. It’s a powerful, and fast way of getting a lot of information out to a lot of people, very quickly.
I am thrilled that St. Mark’s has been taking steps into the 21st century! We have completely remodeled our website. We are still making some changes, but you are welcome to go in and look at it. The address is: www.stmarksoaklyn.com . We’ve improved the appearance and made it easier and more intuitive to navigate to the areas for which you are interested.
We have also been making our presence in the Facebook Community quite well known. We are now putting live feeds of the worship services on our Facebook page – which means you can watch it live (Sundays at 8am and 10:30 am) … or anytime that is convenient for you. Even if you’re not a fan of Facebook, we have a link that you can click on to see the services without entering Facebook.
Our Facebook address is: https://www.facebook.com/StMarksOaklyn/ .
For our non Facebook fans, check out https://www.stmarksoaklyn.com/churchtv
For the past few months we have been broadcasting on Monday evenings at 7pm a live broadcast called “Reflections and Prayers with Pr. Jay”. You can watch it live, interact by texting your prayer requests, and participate in the prayers as the broadcast takes place – or you can watch them all later, again … at your convenience.
With all these great ways to connect with us online, we also have some new and great ways in which you will be able to donate online. You can give through AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com/ch/21-0652118 or look for St. Mark’s Oaklyn in Amazon Smile, or through our new Church Giving program.
More information about online giving will be coming soon, but if you’d like to check it out, or be an early bird, here is the link: http://www.churchofficegiving.com/stmarksoaklyn .
While all of these are great ways to keep in contact with the church, there is nothing like the face to face contact at worship. These online presences are intended to keep us connected when we can’t make it to church, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement for worshipping together at church. God has made us to be relationship-oriented. I believe that means that God wants to be in relationship with us, and wants us to be in relationship with one another. Gathering together in worship to sing, pray, shake hands, and share the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, gives us the opportunity to be in the full and intimate presence of the Body of Christ. We confess that our Triune God shows up every time we invoke their name, it would seem logical to expect that we too, should show up.
For those with young children – it is especially important that you bring your little ones to church. Coming to church gives them the chance to form their faith understanding, which will help them as they develop into responsible citizens in the global community. Stay tuned for announcements for Sunday School this fall.
As members of the Lutheran tradition, it’s also imperative for children to learn what it means to be freed in Christ. Well, now that I think of it – we all need to be reminded of what it means to be freed in Christ – and the best way I can think of doing that is by coming to church and participating in the Body of Christ.
In Christ’s peace!