Digital Sunday

God for All Digital Sunday is taking place on 25 June. Churches all around Cumbria have been encouraged to take part, by pausing their usual teaching and taking some time to reflect on how we – as Christians, for whom all of life is worship – should use our digital activity in a way that is an expression or an outworking of our faith. There is a sermon outline, as well as prayers, and children and young people’s teaching plans, available to download now.

In this blog post, Eleanor Ledesma, God for All Digital Enabler, explains more.

Although I wasn’t in this role at the time, I remember being so impressed by how quickly churches adapted during the Covid lockdowns. It was a time of immense pressure for clergy – the word ‘unprecedented’ has been used a lot to describe those times – but it really was – because on top of everything, clergy and congregations had to work out how they could be a worshipping church community online instead of in the building. It was a steep learning curve for many, but they met the challenge head-on and demonstrated real resilience, creativity, and commitment to serving their churches and their communities.

Thanks to this experience, churches are far more digitally-adapted than they might have been. And the same can be said of society as a whole.  Whether for good or bad – the pandemic forced everyone to adapt to new ways of living, working and socializing. Look at how prevalent remote working and online meetings are now. Or how the surge in online shopping triggered by the pandemic has permanently altered many people’s shopping habits and the retail landscape. Or how, with the aim of reducing the use of physical currency and minimizing contact, there has been an increased adoption of digital payment methods, such as mobile wallets, contactless cards, and online payment platforms. These are all huge shifts. And that’s not to mention the exponential advancement of A.I!

So there’s a lot to grapple with. Change is happening so quickly, it can feel disorientating.

Digital Sunday is a chance to talk about these things, starting with our own digital activity.

How should our faith in Jesus be reflected in the choices we make online, and in the way we present ourselves on social media?  How can we share our faith in a way that feels natural, not contrived? Should we be spending our time online at all?

The sermon outline looks at these issues. It call us to examine how our digital lives are shaping us, looking at Romans 12:1-2, to ask: ‘who are we becoming?’ as well as looking at how we should approach our digital activity:

“And so for us as Christians, we can’t just approach our digital world as a medium to communicate the gospel.  Much more than that, the gospel calls us to witness to a whole different way of approaching the digital world.  See the difference? We aren’t to just do things the way everyone else does, maybe now and again posting a Christian link or putting a status about our faith!”

The sermon outline can be used as it is, or adapted. Alternatively, some people may wish to refer to it as they write their own sermons.

The children and young people’s resources look at the same passage from Romans 12, and include games, activities and discussion questions.

There is also a selection of prayers especially written for Digital Sunday by the Cumbria Ecumenical Spirituality Group, one of which has been filmed and set to music.

Lastly, there is a printable ‘digital health-check’ that people can take away and consider after the service.

I hope that as many churches as possible take part on June 25th. It’s set to be a very thought-provoking and important Sunday, with lots to reflect upon and to put into practice. And it’s my prayer that, as we all spend some time examining what we do online, we will be moved to make changes that will ultimately mean more people across Cumbria are introduced to Jesus and are welcomed into a worshipping community.

To find out more, to download the resources, or to watch a promotional video, visit the Digital Sunday webpage.

Eleanor Ledesma
God for All Digital Enabler