Helen Thompson: What about Generation X?

One of the hats that I wear in the Episcopal Church is that of the Chair of the Standing Commission on Episcopal Church Communications (SCECC for short). Our job, in a nutshell, is to be a group of people who think hard about how society “does” communication, and how the Episcopal Church ought to respond.

Helen Thompson, who just introduced me to Facebook over the weekend, and who as a result has made me start thinking about the social aspect of communication in addition to the teaching, informational, etc aspects, has a great post up on the Episcopal Cafe today. In her essay (part 1) she talks about the ways that GenX’s have a ministry of translation within the church structures:

“So how is this an example of why we, Gen X, are the translators? We are well equipped to understand social media, which is going to be the communications medium of choice for today’s young people. How is this changing the face of communications? My connections in the news media say it’s as revolutionary as Gutenberg and the moveable type printing press. [my emph.] Ignore this opinion at your peril, unless you think Luther’s revolution had nothing to do with Gutenberg’s (again, a hat tip to my friend for saying this; I hope he outs himself in the comments). Blogs are just a part of what that next generation is coming online with. We can speak their language. We can speak the Boomers’, too, though. Did I mention my teenage son? Yes? What about my aging parents? How’s your retirement portfolio?

So anyway, back to the matter at hand. Don’t skip Generation X. We’ve seen it more than once. We’ve heard you ask how to reach us, and seen you form committees hoping to find the magic pill that will get us back in the pews. To be honest, you might not. My fiancé has stalwartly avoided church services pretty much since he was old enough to say ‘no’ to them. But cookouts, labyrinth walks, drum circles, soup kitchens, river clean-ups? He’s so there. How is he going to hear about those activities if he doesn’t come to church each Sunday? Through our blogs, our Facebook accounts, our Livejournals, our Myspace pages. I’m on each of these platforms, and on every single one it’s plain to see that I’m a Christian, an Episcopalian, a Harry Potter fan and a Diet Pepsi addict. And I have slowly been building my own net community, little pockets of which occasionally gather for margaritas, that is my church.”

She makes some great points.

And because she does, I suppose I really need to take her up on her offer to show me around Second Life… I’ll be hanging out near the Cathedral online soon. See you there?

Read the rest here: What about Generation X?

(Via Daily Episcopalian.)

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...