Tuesday, December 29, 2015,

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

I can remember from grade school a teacher or a textbook saying that what marks a civilization is the capacity of humans to make the environment adjust to its needs. When the norm is to adapt to nature, civilization forces nature to adapt to people. You might say computer technology is one of the highest forms of this, but it has a price. Here are a few pitfalls:

What is written on the internet stays on the internet. Anything you write follows you—forever.
Privacy seems to take a backseat to the new technology. From financial transactions to personal e-mail, private communication through the technology isn’t private. As citizens we have lost some of our rights to privacy.
Identity theft has become a major problem.
The old technology which we could use as a fall back position if the new malfunctioned isn’t available. For example, today if your cell phone fails, try calling someone from a phone booth!

Still, the technology keeps developing, and we continue to adapt. I find much of it fascinating and look forward to its being applied in Church worship. For example, it seems today when you walk into an Episcopal Church for worship you either balance a Book of Common Prayer, a Hymnal, and a bulletin in your three hands or you pick up a brochure where every word of the service is contained. A third option may have you see everything on a large television screen.

Something else is emerging, and I believe it will dominate worship just a few years from now. You will walk into church and on with your personal device, tap the church’s app. Everything for that day will appear on your cell phone, tablet, or mini-laptop computer. A visitor who doesn’t have the technology will be provided a tablet. Each word of worship and every song will be there. There will be no need for copying machines or picking up paper after services.

It may seem hard to imagine but even more technological marvels await us. Take a look back to a movie from the year 2000. Notice the cell phone? My children call it a brick! As Bob Dylan sang, “The Times They Are A-Changin’”! With my love and best wishes for 2016 and for the challenges and joys we each face, I remain,

Your brother in Christ,