Welcome to the first edition of the Blog of the
Northeastern Iowa Synod. I like to say we are the coolest synod in the ELCA,
but I’m prejudiced. Certainly we are doing a lot of exciting cutting edge
things in this synod, and this Social Media component of my new call as the
Synod’s Director for Evangelical Mission is one.

I hope for this to be a place to lift up,
celebrate and encourage the ministries of the Northeastern Iowa Synod as we
find new and better ways to reach out to our communities, sharing the good news
of God’s love and grace in our words and actions.

When I lead worship I put the bulletin, hymns and
sermon all on my iPad so I have everything in one place. No more fumbling
between hymn books and worship folders. No more worrying about if my sermon
pages are in order. It’s all there. I’ll never go back to doing it differently. 

When I was discussing this with an esteemed colleague, he wasn’t so sure he
approved of me using an iPad instead of a worship book. Usually when I have
this discussion with skeptics and ask them why having this information
available digitally was any different than paper, they can’t articulate the
reasons for their discomfort other than to talk about how much they like the
feel of a book. But my friend knew what the source of the discomfort was for

“A worship book only contains scripture and
liturgy. My iPad contains games, pictures of my dog and my bank account. I
don’t think they deserve the same reverence the Scriptures do”

And that answer got to the heart of why I think social
media is SO vital to evangelism. Because where else should the Gospel be but
where the Incarnate Christ is? Among our family pictures, games and yes, even
(especially) our bank accounts.

Social media is not a fad. It is evolving, but it
is not going away. Our task is not to drag Christ into Facebook, He’s there
already. Our task is to point the Way. 

By Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson, Director for Evangelical Mission, NE Iowa Synod.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. So excited to see Christ being proclaimed online through this Synod! 🙂 Well done!

  2. Wow! Well said, Joelle. Thank you for your new ministry and enthusiasm for it!


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.