A long time coming
Welcome to the new saint benedict’s table website, launched just as we mark the beginning of the season of Advent and the move into a new liturgical year.
A tremendous amount of time, energy and imagination have gone into the creation of this new site, and it will take a good amount of focus to keep it lively and current. This might lead some people to ask why a church community would want to do such a thing. Are we looking to grow our membership? Advertise events? Sell our books and CDs? Is it all about numbers and the bottom-line, or is something else at stake here?
Well to be quite honest, we’re always ready to welcome another new person to our Sunday night gatherings, and we’re delighted when a visitor shows up at one of our other events and gatherings. And sure, making our various resources more widely available is a good thing, with that bit of extra income allowing us to launch into yet another project. **And please note that we’ll have our online store up and running in the very near future…
But over the years, we’ve also discovered that our website is a place where we can continue to connect with people from saint benedict’s table who have moved on to other places. We’ve had people make connections to us from across North America and as far afield as the U.K., Australia and even Japan. Not that such long distance involvement could ever replace actually gathering on a Sunday evening or sharing a long conversation over a cup of coffee, but it does mean that as a church our field of view is substantially broadened. Based on sheer numbers, our online congregation is actually significantly larger than the one that gathers for the liturgy.
But really, this is about far more than just numbers. As Bramwell Ryan – the chief architect of this site – is fond of observing, one of the reasons Jesus was often found in and around the synagogue and the Jerusalem temple was that these served as the ancient Judean versions of the public square. Jesus’ story-telling, discourses and Q & A sessions with the religious leadership of the day were state-of-art means of communication. In our day, the World Wide Web has become a new public square, where communication includes all manner of media, from audio and video to images and the written word. On the web, culture is not merely reflected; it is shaped, and even made.
In short, we’re here on the web in order to offer resources, ideas, questions, artistic expressions and critical insights, all as our way of participating in life in the public square.
And yes, we’d love for you to join us in this, whether here online or maybe even in worship on a Sunday night.