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Tuesday 16 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Roch
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Church of Scotland Considering Online Baptism, Communion to Boost Membership

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/18/16

Yeah, this is a great idea, sure, why not, go ahead:

For centuries the key Christian sacraments of baptism and communion have symbolised people coming together in one place. But under potentially radical plans being considered by the Church of Scotland, the rites could be administered online for the first time in a move to redefine the idea of a congregation in the internet age. The suggestion, to be debated by members of the Kirk’s decision-making General Assembly which meets in Edinburgh next week, stems from initiatives such as streaming services to enable housebound parishioners to join in despite being unable to be physically present. A paper presented to members of the General Assembly drafted by the Church’s Legal Questions Committee suggests re-examining issues such as voting rights at congregational meetings to people joining remotely. But it goes on to argue that it is also time to go further and create what could effectively amount to virtual congregations, by allowing “access to the sacraments” for people are not “physically present in the congregation”. “We are living in an age when some of the old rules are fast becoming redundant and, as a result, the [committee] believes that it is time for the Church to undertake a wide ranging review of practice and procedure which is impacted by the use of new technology in church life.” It adds that the idea of being a member of a congregation is becoming “more and more blurred” as people move around yet keep strong links through new technology. “As fewer people join up in the traditional sense and as they make choices which include ever greater interaction with the Church through online access and social media, questions arise about online membership and even about access to the sacraments while not being physically present in the congregation,” it explains.

Read more.

Last one to leave the church, please turn out the lights.

Photo: Wikipedia

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