In Touch January 25, 2014
Posted on February 4, 2014 by under Touché,

Keeping “In Touch”

I received a cease and desist letter from Charles Stanley ministries this week.  Apparently they feel that my “In Touch” is an infringement on their trademark.  I have to respond by February 1 to let them know that I will cease using this moniker for my weekly blogs.  I am flattered that my weekly posts have gained their attention, especially as we struggle to communicate effectively at HRC.  At our congregational meeting it was noted that we have more methods of communication than we have ever had before, but we seem to miss messages more than ever.  I’ve made it to Atlanta (Stanley’s home base), but I am not sure how it plays in Hopewell.

I developed my “In Touch” over eight years ago as a means of staying in touch on my first sabbatical.  I have used it as a weekly contact point with the congregation to speak about things that are on my heart and at the heart of our church.  In those eight years my inbox has been deluged with “constant contact” (another trademark) from every organization or business I have had any slight communication with.  I weekly have to unsubscribe to something as I plow through e-mails that I have little interest in reading.

All this makes that task of communicating more difficult.  Our announcements are on the website, handed out on Sunday, sent out as an e-mail, tweeted and on Facebook.  People still say: “what is going on?”  You can follow me on twitter, watch my sermons on the web, subscribe to a pod cast, or find me on Facebook, yet people still feel out of touch.

I love the truth of the gospel that the word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth.  Finally when God wanted to communicate the fullness of his love he sent his son to Facetime (a trademark) with us.  Ultimately the model of Christ is the model of most effective ministry.

I am not sure what I will do with my “In Touch”, but ultimately I know that electronic communication is never as effective as Facetime.  I always wonder how many people make it to the end of my “In Touch”.  Communication theory says that attention spans have gotten much shorter and most of you have bailed out before now.  (That is for the approximately 50% of those who opened the e-mail in the first place.) That is why I love what I do when I am on a pastoral call, or get to squeeze a hand in the Fellowship Hall.  No matter how much things change Jesus has showed us a model that is eternal.

Keeping In Touch,