Ok - Here I am in London for the Cyberchurch and Online Community Symposium. This is an intimate and somewhat casual meeting (the word "symposium" means literally "to drink together") for some really interesting and qualified people, divided up somewhat equally among thinkers, practitioners and supporters. Here's the group:
- Douglas Estes (PhD) is flying in from USA. He has a book on the theology of virtual churches coming out in a few months. I guess he has interviewed many of us already for his book.
- Dave Walker of Wibsite, CartoonChurch, Church Times Blog, and recently famous for his online controversy.
- Bobby Gruenewald, of Lifechurch.tv on Second Life who is also flying in from USA. Bobby says "I'm already calling it "The First Annual International Cyberchurch Symposium"...just so that I have another reason to visit London multiple times each year."
- Also from Lifechurch.tv are Terry Storch who heads the digerati team and Chris Byers who leads the GMT online service.
- Gareth Edwards runs the virtual cathedral and occasionally the main service for Anglicans in Second Life. His doctoral dissertation on Wesleyan micro-ecclesiology will be submitted this year.
- Chris Teague and Lee Behar are both Americans and they represent faith based Foundations that occasionally resource internet evangelism. I met Chris last year at the Global Christian Internet Alliance in Berlin. Lee Behar, also a part of the GCIA, is Senior Program Officer for The Maclellan Foundation. They are a faith based foundation that have invested in a number of exciting online ministry initiatives.
- Mark Howe - St Pixels Church and author of "Online church: First Steps towards virtual incarnation."
- Simon Jenkins, also a creator and leader at St Pixels and the Church of Fools experiment.
- From i-church we have Web Pastor Pam Smith, Karen Wellman from the i-church leadership and Caroline Birchmore who is the technical lead. Fantastic!!!
- Tim Hutchings, PhD student focusing on cyberchurches and online faith communities.
- Shannon Hopkins is the host. She has been involved in social enterprises with both offline and online presence. Our dinner will be at her apartment.
- And me, Andrew Jones of Tallskinnykiwi blog and Chancellor of the virtual Suddenly Seminary.
[A prayer time at Suddenly Seminary commissioning party - thats me in the bathtub]
Previously, on Tallskinnykiwi . . .
Virtual Church in the 1940's