Heavenly Apps

A look at the link between technology and the churches that use it to their advantage.

Illustration By Michael Brandon Myers

It takes a big staff to keep a flock in the fold. Churches today use social networking and digital media to connect with their believers. For many of Cincinnati’s own faithful, the path to spirituality is lined with silicon.

→ Got faith? There’s an app for that. Complete with live streaming of services, the Crossroads Anywhere app “blends the physical and digital worlds,” says Crossroads Church Director of Digital Matt Welty. “People grow in community, not sitting alone on their couch.”

→ You know Holy Trinity St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox for Panegyri. But their sanctuary is also a place for the senses. It’s wired for sound and sight so the distant can hear and see the liturgy, if not smell the swinging censor…yet.

→ Children are the future. The Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati’s web “space” for kids serves up e–books about Ganesh, online classes on Hinduism, and best of all, (secular) video games: “Mumbai Metro Parking,” anyone?

→ The Reverend Damon Lynch III’s “media ministry” delivers audio and visual preaching to the homebound. And New Prospect Baptist Church’s YouTube presence turns your computer into a pew, featuring baptisms, plays, and the sermonizing fervor of Pastor Tracie Hunter.

OurJewishCommunity.org, cocreated by Beth Adams Rabbis Robert Barr and Laura Baum, it the world’s first online synagogue. Thousands in the U.S. and 150 other countries log in for weekly Sabbath services. “[It’s] a community, even though they live hundreds of miles apart,” says Rabbi Barr.

Illustration by Michael Brandon Myers

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