ECIC 11 - London, UK

Challenge of Convergency for the Church

The 11th Conference in London met from June 14 to 18, 2006. Christian Web workers from all eleven European countries met in London for the annual ECIC Conference.

The focus of this conference was in the areas of Communio - Educatio - Missio.

Communio - in ecclesiology the Church is defined as a community of believers but the new media challenges the definition of what a community is. Online communities follow a different set of rules than face-to-face communities. Does the traditional ecclesiological description of the church include the reality of online communities or do we need to adapt our theological framework to meet the new reality? Can our communion be complete if we do not have an effective online presence.

Educatio - one important field of church activity is education, ranging from the traditional religious education or the teaching of catechism to e-learning. As knowledge and education become more and more important in the information society, the church must fully explore the potential of the Internet. If the digital divide is the border between the educated elite and the information-poor, then media education becomes an important task for the church. Fostering media competence means enabling people to help themselves.

Missio - The Church is taking part in God's mission to the world. Mission is not only reaching out to people who have not yet heard God's Good News but also bearing witness and providing guidance within society, and that includes a digital society. In the time of media convergence, the church needs an holistic approach to deal with these challenges: integration of television, mobile phones and the internet and location based services. The Conference will explore these challenges and try to search for answers.