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Bringing Emanuel Up To 21st Century Speed

Shalom Friends.

I'll be at OSRUI through mid-July, and I look forward to keeping you posted on how life at summer camp is going.

In the meantime, leadership and I have begun a conversation about worship, technology, and how to bring Emanuel Congregation up to 21st-century speed. One of the discussions/debates has to do with the live-streaming of prayer services.

It just so happens that the other day I paid a visit to Steve and Alice Marx, and they had quite a lot to say about the value of live-streaming. In fact, I received this letter afterward, and I include it here:

This weekend, we had a delightful experience. Our granddaughter, Jennifer, in Los Gatos, California, became a Bat Mitzvah. Unfortunately, we could not attend the service and doings afterwards in person. It was not advisable for my wife and I to fly to California due to my challenging health conditions. So, we did the next best thing. Our son, Gerald, streamed the audio and video of the service live from the Temple to us via FaceTime. FaceTime runs on IOS devices, such as Apple's iPhone, iPad and any Apple Mac computer. We were able to see and hear everything that occurred and participate in the service and subsequent festivities. There are other alternatives for streaming, such as Google Hangouts or Youtube. These services currently allow live streaming to multiple recipients at the same time, as opposed to the FaceTime solution which currently allows streaming between only two devices, though support for streaming to multiple devices may be supported in the future. Google Hangouts is free to use. It may be used on any computer, IOS device, or Android device such as those made by Samsung or LG. So, if you have somebody who cannot travel to an affair, consider the approach described above. It worked well for us. Steve and Alice Marx Sent from my iPhone

Indeed, a strong endorsement for live-streaming and the general use of technology--not to detract from the sanctity of prayer and life-cycle observance but to enhance access and engagement.

Please let me know how you feel about live-streaming and the general application of technology in our prayer experiences. This is an important discussion/debate going forward as we seek to strengthen our commitment to meaningful spirituality.

Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good!

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