August 11, 2010

What's New In & Around the Virtual Abbey (II)

Interested in getting more involved with the Virtual Abbey community? Contact us via Twitter or by email:

Maybe it's because here on the east coast dreadfully hot weather made May feel like July. Maybe it's because so many members of our community lived and prayed through so many transitions during June and July ─ births, deaths, job changes and interstate moves.

For whatever the reason, we're very energized these days. We seem to be acting as if it's Septem
ber and we've started a new school year. The short list of what we've been up to since our recent period of transition in April includes:

On our blog: We've added "Come, Let Us Pray" as an occasional column. This emerged because someone on Twitter wanted to spend more time with the text of a prayer noticed in our Twitterstream. (By the way, it's not too late to participate in the "Three Prayers Meme.")

Delighted by your comments about inclusive language, we've been inspired to make our community deliberations more public. We recently wrestled with how to adapt prayers from the Daily Office for use with 21st century technology. Stay tuned for more about that ongoing conversation.

At Facebook: Realizing how many follow us on Facebook (FB) rather than Twitter, we've become more diligent about adding #fb to our tweets during morning, midday and n
ight prayer. That hashtag allows whatever we post on Twitter to show up on FB. There are enough differences between Twitter and FB to have us wondering if we're posting too much or not enough on FB. Yet another conversation we'll share with you in a future post.

Also added to our FB page: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and links to resources under notes; albums of photos by our community
─ and maybe yours if you wish to send t
hem to us.

On Twitter: We've started offering brief prayer at midday once or twice a week and
have claimed #TVAsocial as the hashtag to use for informal chat (translation: horsing around) in our virtual gathering space/social hall after prayer. The first time we tried this, we got such a terrific response that we're considering holding virtual coffee not-really-an-hour at least once a month.

Coming soon: highlights from notes we receive through the "back channel" (e.g., email and direct messages); more about music ministry in/for a virtual monastery; and tech tips about how to participate.

So there you have it or at least some of it. I continue to be amazed by how faith deepens and friendship emerges as a result of praying with the Virtual Abbey. Pretty stunning considering the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter but maybe not. As we know and believe ─ with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Thanks be to God!

Pax max,
for The Virtual Abbey

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