-Rev Melissa Fain-
The internet is an amazing tool. With it, we can connect with people from the other side of the globe in mere seconds. It has made it super easy to reunite with a long lost friend, and say hello to complete strangers.
It is also super easy to disconnect and hurt. The ease at which one connects and disconnects is the problem. Relationship is too easy to begin and end. It used to be, if we got angry or frustrated with someone we had to work it out. We were still going to see them the next day or the next week. Now most of our relationships are as fragile as a follow/unfollow button.
If you are reading this, you are part of two groups:
You found or were given a rock
It probably makes you wonder. What is this? You found or were given a rock. You followed the QR code or entered the link. You found us, an online church. After what I just said, what's up with that?
The internet is a new culture, and the church is horrible about engaging it. In some cases they treat the internet like it was in the 90's: A bulletin board where information is posted but not much else. Some treat it like a streaming device. They share a wide angle of their Sunday worship, without any sense of community attached to it. (Great for people who normally show up, but can't always make it on a Sunday. Terrible for people stepping in without any context.)
Part of being a church is being a community of believers. How does one do that online? That's where we fit in. When it comes to worship, education, and relationship we try to understand and connect with the culture around us. How are we relating as a people of God online? How do we find God in world where the on/off button is super easy to push? How do we treat the internet as more than a bulletin board, and see the faces behind the usernames?
Those are all questions we are asking, while we do the things every church does: worship a Risen Christ, learn from and about the bible, relate in faith and love to our fellow human, and to live out the Great Commission with evangelism. (Don't know half of those words? That's okay! We are also intentional about speaking at a level we can all understand.)
So why now?
This is an opportunity to do something completely different
Half a decade ago I started Fig Tree. I thought it would be about six months online and then we'd be starting a traditional brick and mortar church. Boy was I wrong. God had different plans for us! I spent four years engaging the online community and their needs. Learning how internet community worked. I saw how most ideas were simply flashes in the pan, and only a very few really caught fire and took off.
During that time congregants slowly trickled in. The congregants we have now are excited about the future of Fig Tree. They are ready to get going, and get growing.
We are ready to re-start, so to speak. I truly believe, we will re-envision what it means to be church online. It all begins with your rock.
Rocks have always been symbolic of worship, and letting go. We will be using it for both.
We want you! Everything re-starts September 3rd at 2pm. If you are close enough, come in person to The Daily Grind (3960 Mary Eliza Trace NW, Marietta, GA 30064). See where we're going,
If you can't come in person, come online (www.Facebook.com/FigTreeChristian).This is about creating something authentic both online and in person. Our congregants are from all over North America. If you are getting a rock in California, yes, we are talking to you too!
Maybe you are in the right congregation already. If that's the case, pass your rock on.
Maybe you are interested, but also know some others. Make a new rock! That's right. Just make sure to at least include the link, so they can easily find us.
No matter what, may God bless and keep you. May the wind be at your back; the sun shine on your face. May God hold you and keep you. Amen.