Greetings from the Rocky Mountain State where I'm attending the Global Internet Evangelism Network, an official General Conference and North American Division initiative that connects technologists with the mission of the church.
Some pretty amazing things are happening here. First up, friend of Spectrum, filmmaker Paul Kim (who currently runs media projects for the NAD Church Resource Center) gave a provocative talk about what's real about Adventism in the world of online interaction. He included a very provocative video of an Adventist baptizing someone else in Second Life and asked if it was real in the eyes of God.
Paul used the model of "natives" and "immigrants" in the digital world. Immigrants being those who did not grow up spending several hours a day online, while natives are those who are immersed in multimedia environments both for entertainment, communication and business, even human relationships.
I appreciate that he encouraged lay (user-generated content) that allows folks who actually interact between a variety of communities to represent their own personal witness of Adventism.
The always fascinating historian, Julius Nam (coming soon to the San Diego Forum) told five stories of how Adventists from Ellen White to Stephen Haskell to H.M.S. Richards Sr. used emerging media (often against the prevailing comfort) to expand both the voice, and interestingly, the vision of Adventism. I was reminded of the great Marshall McLuhan quote: the medium is the message.
It's pretty clear that there is a significant desire among the participants - from a GC Vice-president to lay technologists - that new ideas of the Adventist witness and how to do it in demand.
Coming in the next Denver Dispatch.
Some thoughts from my breakout session on blogging in Adventism
As well as a very exciting announcement on an initiative to spur media innovation in the church.
A shout out to the GIEN folks who are reading along.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/780