什麽是科技網絡傳道事工? What is eMinistry?

 

什麽是科技網絡傳道事工(eMinistry)?

根據天主教英漢辭典[i],Ministry可解作「聖職;神職;牧職;事奉;使徒工作;服事。服務是基督徒生活的根本,具體表現在仁愛的工作上。教會的職務包括教誨、聖化、治理等,拉丁文為 ministerium 。」為什麼在Ministry的前面加上「e」,會讓這個英文字加添了一層更深厚的意義?

我們在日常生活中越來越依賴互聯網和高科技產物, 以至人們搜集資料的方法在過往廿年的時間裡有了極大的轉變。當我們需要尋找或想學習新的知識,我們傾向直接拿起智能手機或使用谷歌搜尋器找答案。科技帶給我們以前從未體驗過的便利。源源不絕的網上資源給我們更多的機會去充實宗教知識和增強我們的信仰。

互聯網亦縮短了人與人之間的距離,讓分享同一信仰的人可以透過社交網站或網上團體緊密的連繫在一起。

社交網絡是由無數個獨立體 (人) 連結而建起的社會結構,形成一個複雜的關係網。 這種網絡圖的伸延令人振奮的地方在於我們可以直接展示我們的個人身份 (立場) ,從龐大的互聯絡裡透過别人的言語和故事去了解及塑造我們的自己「根、本」。在社交網裡,我能清楚看到我存在團體裡,和天主及其他弟兄姊妹共融合一。[ii]

我們教會朝著培育信友的方向發展,而正需要從這種「關係網絡」借力。[iii] 有見及此,我們屋崙聖良堂華人團體主動建立eMinistry,希望利用科技及網絡作傳道的事工,築起我們的「關係網絡」。eMinistry盡量利用高科技和互聯網的優點來傳播福音的喜訊。我們會致力於把團體網站更新,使它更能合適地為我們團體的新舊信友服務。通過這個新網站的各種功能, 我們立志發展一個以基督為榜樣的的團體,就如温格(Wenger)所描述理想的團體:「成員必須向團體共同的目標作出承諾;團體成員須全心全意以全程投入的態度,積極參與團體的活動和討論、彼此學習、互助互愛。」[iv] 這就是我們eMinistry科技及網絡傳道事工的使命及宗旨。藉此事工我們將我們的信仰和信念無邊無際地傳承開去。

 

[i] Di, Gang. "Ministry." Tian Zhu Jiao Ying Han Xiu Zhen Ci Dian = Catholic English-Chinese Dictionary. Taipei Xian Xinzhuang Shi: Tian Zhu Jiao Heng Yi Yüe Kan She, 2001. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

 

               

What is eMinistry?

According to the Catholic Dictionary[1], the denotation of “Ministry” is the “service of God, who is glorified by the loving service given to others; based on the teaching of Christ, who showed by word and example how to minister to people’s spiritual and temporal needs”.   With the letter “e” in front of the word “Ministry”, it gives off a slightly different connotation.  What makes “eMinistry” significant?

As we grow more dependent on technology and internet in our everyday life, our method of information gathering also changed drastically over the past two decades.  When we need to find or learn new information, we have the tendency to go directly to our smartphone or Google search for the answer.  It has never been this convenient to enrich our religious knowledge and strengthen our faith, and online resources has given us this opportunity.

The internet has also bridged the distances between human beings, bringing people who share the same faith together through social networking sites or online communities. 

Social networks are social structures made of nodes (generally individuals) that are linked together with others, forming a complex web of relations.  What is so exciting about this kind of network mapping is that as we visually demonstrate our self-identity, we recognize that we cannot understand ourselves without the larger web of others who give language, story, and shape to our existence. Within a map of a social network, I see that I exist and am in community with God and others.[2]

It is this “web of relations” that the church needs to capitalize on as it shifts toward people development.[3]  That is also the reason why the Oakland St. Leo Chinese Community initiates eMinistry to meet the goal of building the “web of relations”.  eMinistry, electronic ministry or sometimes called web ministry, utilizes the advantages of technology and internet for ministry formation.  As a result, we are dedicated to refresh our community website to better serve our members of old and new.  Through the functions of the website, we aim to develop a community of Christian practice, which according to Wenger (n.d.) is “membership [that] indicates a commitment to the shared domain; a community of members engage[s] in joint activities and discussions, help[s] each other, and share [s] information; build relationships that enable them to learn from each other"[4].  This is the mission and vision of our eMinistry.  This is where we can pass our belief on without borders.

 

[1] "Dictionary : MINISTRY." Catholic News, Commentary, Information, Resources, and the Liturgical Year. Web. 02 June 2016.

[2] Dwight J. Friesen, Thy Kingdom Connected: What the Church Can Learn from Facebook, the Internet, and Other Networks (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009), 65.

[3] Scott M. Ness, The Faith Web: A Networking of the Body of Christ to Mitigate Relationship Voids and Strengthen the Faith Community (2014).

[4] Charlotte McCorquodale, and Leigh Sterten, Training Catholic Youth Minitry Leaders Using Web 2.0 Tools (2010).

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