An increasing number of congregations are using social media to communicate with their communities. Social media can be a powerful tool for Uniting Church members to stay in touch with each other beyond the doors of their church. The instantaneous nature of social media also allows congregations to be informed and up to date on news happening in Australia and throughout the world.
June 30 is Social Media Day and Crosslight would like to take this opportunity to recognise the wonderful work congregations are doing in the social media space.
The following are examples of congregations embracing social media in creative and innovative ways:
The congregation at Deepdene has a strong Korean community. Services are held in both Korean and English and this practice has translated over to their Facebook page, which contains text in both languages. This is a wonderful way to promote intercultural unity and communicate in a manner that is accessible for all congregation members.
You can read more about the Deepdene congregation in the July Crosslight feature, which will be available online and in churches on July 5.
Mountview Uniting Church uses their church signs to protest against political decisions affecting the most vulnerable groups in society. Some of their signs are shared on Facebook to make it available for a wider audience. One of their recent signs on halal food and religious intolerance attracted more than 250 likes and was shared more than 520 times.
In addition to the photos, Mountview Uniting Church uploads the Sunday sermon from their minister Rev Brendan Byrne onto their Facebook page following each service.
Ringwood Uniting Church uses both Facebook and Twitter to connect with its congregation and with the wider community. Their Twitter page features photos of their church cross, which is decorated in different ways throughout the year to commemorate significant events such as Good Friday, Easter Day and Reconciliation Week. They also live tweet photos from events happening in the church and retweet the thoughts of prominent social justice leaders and organisations.
Many Messy Churches have been created throughout the synod to provide an inclusive and interactive space for families to explore Christ. The Messy Church in Ivanhoe Facebook page shares photo albums from their monthly meet-ups as well as updates to remind members of upcoming events.
Inspired by the success of the Ivanhoe Messy Church, the organisers have created a second Facebook page for their newly opened Messy Church group at Heidelberg.
St Michael’s Uniting Church has a YouTube channel where they upload sermons from their minister Rev Dr Francis Macnab. Dr Macnab also conducts interviews with guest speakers at some Sunday services, and these videos are available on YouTube for those who are unable to attend.
Crosslight would also like to acknowledge the following congregations that are on Facebook: North Balwyn, Trinity Dandenong, Western Heights, St John’s Essendon, Banyule Network of Uniting Churches, Koornang, Northcote, Weerona Bendigo, St Leonard’s Brighton, Mount Martha, High Street Frankston, Williamstown, Glen Waverley, Altona Meadows/Laverton, Carlton Church of All Nations, St Andrew’s Sunbury, Western Port, St Kilda Parish Mission, St Luke’s Highton, Presbytery of Port Phillip East, Presbytery of Tasmania, Hobart North, Coburg, Mulgrave, Mulgrave (Indonesian congregation), Uniting Queenscliff, Wesley Geelong, Rowville, Plenty Valley, Sophia’s Spring, Camberwell Messy Church, Melton Op-Shop, Manningham, Richmond, North Ringwood Playgroup and Croydon.
Does your congregation have a Facebook or Twitter page? If your church’s Facebook is not listed above, please send the link for your page to Tim.Lam@victas.uca.org.au.