When I was a young boy, our week had a familiar rhythm, starting with church every Sunday. It was a gathering of families as well as friends with everyone dressed in their finest.
Our family is truly Canadian so a menagerie of denominations. One grandparent was Roman Catholic, another Anglican, another Presybeterian and another United. Every home had a bible if one had a discerning eye.
Although born on the Canadian prairies, my family moved down east to Toronto when I was seven.
We moved into a brand new suburb, with many families just like ours. One of our neighbours organised an after school bible study class. No one really thought much about because we all did everything together.
Looking back now, I am sure that deepened my faith.
I always liked to read, and for those of you who share that passion, you know how easy it is to lose yourself in a good book. Good being whatever interests you.
I remember my English teacher in high school, asking how any of us could claim to understand any western literature - Chaucer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Dickens, Tolstoy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Walker etc without having read the Bible. He was not speaking as a theologian or a Christian minister, he may have actually been an atheist. He was trying to impress upon us how our world, today more secular than ever, has been shaped by its Christian foundations.
Well, that was a challenge, I could not resist. I read it from front to back.
I think it put me off returning to it as I lacked a guiding hand to reveal how it was woven together. However, I did feel, I could continue reading the classics and more contemporary works without worrying I was missing the foundation!
I wanted to learn more but it was a little foreboding and of course, I was afraid if I asked for help (in those days the internet did not exist), I might not be allowed to ever put it down!
Today, even without 5G speeds, the wealth of Christian resources or content reminds me of the unfortunate time traveller from the 80s who walks into a coffee expecting to order a coffee or at most a double double for my Canadian brethren and is offered a plethora of choices.
I have been fortunate to stumble across many great resources whether it is the Alpha Course or Bible in One Year from HTB, Thy Kingdom Come or the Daily Audio Bible.
Today, I can truly appreciate Gregory the Great’s quotation from his work Moaralia on Job
Scripture is like a river again, broad and deep, shallow enough here for the lamb to go wading, but deep enough there for the elephant to swim.
So we can all wade in the shallows or dive deeper. Each of us can learn at our own pace.
When we created the Digital Church Platform® one of our objectives was to make it easy for the congregation and community to have a learning resources area where great content - books, podcasts, video, apps, etc could be shared.
As we were doing our research, we found some absolutely wonderful sources of knowledge.
After discussions with different parishioners and priests, we realised no one could really navigate all of the content available. So an important part of the Digital Church Platform® is the Learning Resources section found on the Faith tab on every church’s site.
These resources for Christians can be tailored to the denomination and the diocese where relevant. Two of the churches using the platform are Saint Olave 8 Hart Streetand St Katharine Cree in the Diocese of London of the Church of England.
We curate the resources to bring the most pertinent resources from the Anglican communion for these two churches and likewise for a Roman Catholic Church.
Whether it is the latest book from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, a podcast from the general synod or a video from the Bishop of London, everyone can find something to wade in the shallows or dive deeper.
There are different bible versions, bible readings and reading plans. If you are a Christian youth or just of the Christian belief, there is a bible app for you. Perhaps you want to find the latest books to read the biography of Paul by Tom Wright or The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Of course, every church can turn off the shared content or add content that they have determined to be of interest
Whatever your searching for to help in your understanding of Jesus Christ, the Digital Church Platform® provides an opportunity for your church to curate what is of interest to your congregation.
And remember, Proverbs 4:5-9
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget or turn aside from the words of my mouth!
6 Do not abandon her, and she will protect you.
Love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is of utmost importance, therefore get wisdom,
and with all your effort work to acquire understanding.
8 Prize her and she will exalt you.
Indeed, if you embrace her, she will honor you.
9 She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will present to you a crown of beauty.”
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