OMG: Spirituality in the Digital Age
The 2014 Kay Butler Gill Lecturer
in Christian Spirituality
presented by Bishop Steven Charleston
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
at The General Theological Seminary
440 West 21st Street, New York City
To register, click here.
What defines spirituality in an age of digital communication? What defines community in a global culture of information villages?
The technological parameters of post-modern networking are expanding exponentially. They are re-shaping and re-defining what we understand as the context for spirituality. In 2011, Bishop Steven Charleston began testing a simple spiritual exercise. Each morning he compresses a single spiritual thought into a few concise words and posts it on Facebook, the largest social network in human history. The result has been the development of a unique spiritual community: an inter-religious, international congregation of people from many distinctive backgrounds, all linked by a shared response to a spiritual vision that is both pragmatic and poetic. When he began offering this spiritual ministry Bishop Charleston had four people who were part of his circle of contact. Today there are thousands, and still growing. In the 2014 Kay Butler Gill Lecture, Bishop Charleston will speak about his experience of creating this new form of spiritual community and how it may tell us something about the evolution of faith into the far horizons of both the human spirit and human technology.
Bishop Charleston is a Native American elder from the Choctaw Nation, a bishop in The Episcopal Church, and the founder of Red Moon Publications. Thousands read his spiritual meditations posted daily on Facebook, some of which have been collected in his two books, Hope as Old as Fire and Cloud Walking, widely acclaimed for their deep spiritual vision and for their ability to bring people of widely different faith journeys together. He also is author of the newly published novel, The Bishop of Mars. He has served as the national director for Native American ministries in The Episcopal Church, the Bishop of Alaska, and the President and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School. Currently, he is Visiting Professor of Native American Theology at the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
The Kay Butler Gill Lecture reaches scholars, graduate students, spiritual directors, clergy, and guests interested in topics of spirituality. Past lecturers have included Tilden Edwards, Roberta Bondi, Margaret Guenther, Martin Smith, Janet Ruffing, Robin Jensen, and John Philip Newell.
GTS Digital Formation will be live-tweeting the event. To follow on Twitter, click here.
GTS Digital Formation is The General Theological Seminary’s initiative to help clergy and lay leaders throughout The Episcopal Church appreciate the theological foundations and effectiveness of social media and digital technology for gospel proclamation and ministry. To learn more about GTS Digital Formation and its history, click here.
In April 2013, the Rev. James Martin, SJ, filled Seabury Auditorium with joy and laughter when presenting “Rejoice Always: Joy, Humor and Laughter in the Spiritual Life.” A nationally renowned spiritual teacher, Martin is a Jesuit priest, author, and culture editor of America, the national Catholic magazine. His books include Between Heaven and Mirth and the best-selling The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything. For a downloadable PDF version of his wonderful lecture, click here. You’ll laugh, spiritually and heartily!
Bringing eminent scholars and spiritual teachers to the seminary is made possible by donations to lecture’s endowment, initially established by a generous grant from the estate of Kay Butler Gill, a graduate of General Seminary and the Center for Christian Spirituality. She cared about the spiritual life: After her education and formation here for a ministry of spiritual direction, she spent many years serving the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, offering retreats and quiet days and holding, as she so eloquently described it, “spiritual conversations with others.”
If you wish to contribute to the endowment, click here and choose to designate your gift to the Center for Christian Spirituality in memory of Kay Butler Gill.