Last year on Reformation Sunday, Northeastern Iowa Synod members joined thousands of churchgoers across the country (and Canada) to check in, tweet, post, and Instagram what was happening at their churches.

This year, on September 25, we hope to have even more participate in Social Media Sunday.

Social Media Sunday began in 2013 with Carolyn Clement at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tarriffville, CT encouraging more use of social media by church members.   It is now an ecumenical movement.

The date for Social Media has been permanently set for the last Sunday in September.


The purpose of this day is to

  • Encourage those in church who haven’t tried social media to give it a try
  • Encourage churches who are using social media to expand and explore more ways to use it for outreach and to build community
  • To demonstrate the power of social media to share the message of the gospel beyond the church building.


Over 2.3 billion people around the world use social media and a million new users are added every day.

The chances are most of the people in your pews on any given Sunday are on social media.  They will share photos of their grandchildren, dogs, and fishing trips.  They will post their opinions about politics and the latest scandal.  They will share where they had a good meal for lunch and where they waited too long to get waited on at the mall.

But are they sharing about their church and faith?

Will they share what they heard from the sermon at church?  Will they share photos of the how beautiful the altar looked with the flowers from Mabel’s garden?   Will they upload a video of the choir singing?


If not, it’s probably because they haven’t been invited and encouraged to do so.  Most people don’t need a lot of encouragement.  Mostly they need permission.  Social Media Sunday is the day we give people permission to go ahead and turn their phone on and share about their church and faith online.

The hope is that soon every Sunday will be Social Media Sunday.


Read about what we did last year.  If you didn’t participate last year, consider trying it this year.  If you did it last year, we hope you will join us again this year.

Something new this year!

Besides the usual, check-ins, posts, tweets and selfies we are going to do something new.  The Northeastern Iowa Synod sponsors seven Young Adult in Mission (YAGMS) in our companion Synod in Hungary.  We also have two young people from our synod serving in Madagascar.   Social Media Sunday is a great way to show how social media brings people together from all over the world.

On Social Media Sunday we are going to use Social Media to show support for our YAGMs.

This is what we are asking folks to do:


  • If you are on Twitter tweet this message:
Greetings to (Name of YAGM)  from (name of congregation – use your congregation twitter handle if you have one), @NEIowaSynodELCA  #SMS16  @ELCAYAGM 
(Be sure to use @ELCAYAGM so they can share the message)

It’s that simple!  

You will show our YAGMs how many congregations are holding them in prayer and will provide an example to others in the church of how they can support their YAGMs.
Use THIS BULLETIN INSERT on Sunday with all the names of our YAGMs.
You could also video a greeting from church on that day and post it on the Facebook pages.

In the meantime, spread the word and encourage folks to bring their mobile devices on Sunday, September 25.





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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.


Digital Ministry


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