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Source: (consider it) Thread: Online church
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

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Many years ago this website launched an online church experiment which grew into its own community, first called Church of Fools which then became a community-owned organisation called St Pixels.

Various other online church communities have begun, waxed and waned.

I'm not sure if anyone is still here who was involved in St Pixels or has any experience of other online church formats, but I'd be interested to hear the extent to which you think these communities "worked" as church.

My observation from the outside is that they seem to have a pretty short shelf-life.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Nubinia
Apprentice
# 18733

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I'm interested too. Is there a simple way to watch a topic here?
Posts: 8 | From: Liverpool | Registered: Feb 2017  |  IP: Logged
sabine
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# 3861

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Not on these discussion boards, Nubinia, but I know that St. Pixels (which grew out of the Church of Fools) is on Facebook.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

Posts: 5734 | From: the US Heartland | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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I used to participate in St Pixels. Fun to start with then the inevitable tensions begin to grow. Throw in some heated debates on the Bible and the self destruct mechanism isn't far away.

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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I could never see the point. Debating things here is one thing, trying to make a 'church' out of it ...

Bah, call me old-fashioned ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 14399 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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Pixels came along at a time when we, along with a lot of folk, were just getting online for the first time so I think novelty factor was figuring very large.
Don't get me wrong, it looked to me like a bold experiment. Reaching out to where people are actually communicating as opposed to waiting for them to walk into a Church.

Trouble with online churches, like with anything social media orientated, is that novelty fatigue can set in, coupled with a vague feeling of hollowness and disconnect similar to what one might get from watching too much TV.

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Posts: 2792 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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I was part of the original Church of Fools crew. The emphasis was more on worship services than debate.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

Posts: 5734 | From: the US Heartland | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
I used to participate in St Pixels. Fun to start with then the inevitable tensions begin to grow. Throw in some heated debates on the Bible and the self destruct mechanism isn't far away.

I loved St Pixels and miss it still. I especially liked the blogging section. Ordinary blogs are just not the same.

The services were fun too.

What St Pixels was short of was a 'Hell' and a 'Styx'. Without somewhere to air personal difficulties or complaints it began to suffer terribly from passive aggressive behaviour.

We had some excellent RL meets.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12078 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I could never see the point. Debating things here is one thing, trying to make a 'church' out of it ...

Bah, call me old-fashioned ...

Gamaliel, you're old-fashioned but so am I. I agree with you on this.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 6916 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I remember it, but didn't participate more than a very little. I think it was a good experiment at a time when such things were being explored.

But - something that I have found while being out of a church - is that places like the ship are useful as resources, and social media and contacts have their place, but none of them take the place of an actual church community. That required real people, and real physical contact.

So it's not that they don't have a place. Just that their place is not a replacement for a real church. Maybe an addition to a real church.

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Blog
My books for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18058 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
The services were fun too.

What St Pixels was short of was a 'Hell' and a 'Styx'. Without somewhere to air personal difficulties or complaints it began to suffer terribly from passive aggressive behaviour.

We had some excellent RL meets.

There was a period when Pixel services had a real vibe going. It was moving when, on a couple occasions, visitors joined and where clearly overwhelmed with the feeling of inclusion.

As you say the absence of a pressure release valve did lead to problems. We also have fond memories a small RL meeting, (not with your good self alas).

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Posts: 2792 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
tessaB
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# 8533

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I found St.Pixels at a time when, because of personal circumstances, I couldn't attend a RL church. I found much comfort in evening prayer at St.Ps and also enjoyed meeting some lovely people in RL. I think for those who cannot physically attend a church it was the nearest thing to a faith community we could get.

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

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lily pad
Shipmate
# 11456

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I really miss St. Pixels. I agree with Boogie that it was missing a way to vent and a way to regulate or manage real issues. I'm another who can't take part in real life church and I enjoyed the community there.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

Posts: 2212 | From: Truly Canadian | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Silver Swan
Apprentice
# 17957

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I miss St Pixels, too. (Was Little One on there.) I've maintained a few friendships around the globe via Facebook, and continue to meet online several times a week for prayers with three other people met on there. It was the only church I could get to at the time and played a valuable role in my life.

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Christ Jesus came to be Emmanuel, not a manual.

Posts: 30 | From: Australia | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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There's a well established ichurch here . It's very good and well run, quite traditional. It's been going since 2004.

I've dipped in and out since then.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12078 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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I think I can lay claim to providing some of the spark for Church of Fools in off-Ship discussions with Melon (as he was then) about virtual church, and originally served as a host on the CoF board.

I found the virtual worship space really worked and believe it will be looked back on as a pioneering form of virtual reality (VR).

I've just got back from an interpreting job at a VR conference and was struck by the extent to which the industry is now having to discuss the same sort of ethical and philosophical issues we wrestled with at the time.

(I also continue to be convinced that overall, the Church is utterly failing to grasp the implications of the digital revolution. For instance, we have been used to the Scriptures being around in hardcopy format for centuries.

Now, if people refer to them at all in church, they do so on a smartphone. The way you physically interact with the text is utterly different, with less use of cross-references, less flicking back and forth between passages, and so on.)

There is no substitute for real life but the boundaries between RL and virtuality will become increasingly blurred with the advent of mixed reality.

When RL is not an option, virtuality is a powerful alternative. Who else remembers following Erin's funeral in the very basic medium of the old Ship's café? I treasure the printout still.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16058 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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When Church of Fools was 3-D, it really did feel like a real church. The church space, where you could sit in silence, and the services where you could type along, worked for me. But the discussion space (was it downstairs?) not so well, the conversations were mostly trite and invaded by people just playing around.

When it stopped being 3-D (apart from where you could somehow walk around like a ghost), it lost that feeling of being a church, although I gather that quite a strong community continued for those who stayed with it. For me, it became a less successful version of the ship and I didn't need two of them.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34488 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

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Yes, the discussion space was down in the crypt, IIRC. I quite liked C of F, but, at the time, I was still on dial-up, and never seemed to be able to keep pace, IYSWIM.

The Churchwardens' capacity to smite offenders was both useful and satisfying....if only annoying avatars could be as easily dealt with IRL.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 7230 | From: With The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Erin's funeral was amazing online (and I attended it after helping at the funeral of someone I knew)

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13067 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
There's a well established ichurch here . It's very good and well run, quite traditional. It's been going since 2004.

I've dipped in and out since then.

Unfortunately that one has also declined somewhat. Surprisingly VL is very much like RL, you either have a scene and things are buzzing with individuals wanting to participate or it invariably dries up.

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Posts: 2792 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged


 
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