Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thank God for Social Media

On Tuesday evening, Evensong had just finished at Salisbury Cathedral when I checked my Twitter feed.
OK I won't lie. I had been checking it during the service too.
The Synod hashtag feed was repeatedly refreshed, except during the singing by the choir of the Magnificat  - Mary's song. As I listened to the familiar words and beautiful music (Noble in B minor) I had the rising sense that, just as God called the woman Mary to do something that had never been done before, (or since, it has to be said) God was also calling the women of this generation to do something new in the life of his church. Some of them would be Bishops.

My Soul magnified the Lord and my Spirit rejoiced in God my saviour.

And then I read my Twitter feed.

I felt incredibly deflated. Shocked. Bereaved. I remain surprised by the strength of my own reaction and have spent today reading, praying and reflecting on it, leaving my place of retreat with a determination to serve, with as much commitment and compassion as before, the people among whom God has placed me.

But on the night, it was hard. As a Myers-Briggs E, I need people around. I prefer to process what's going on out loud with other people. Admittedly this can have embarrassing consequences, but let's not go there.
But on Tuesday night I was alone. Away on a retreat without my family and friends.

I did, however, have Twitter and Facebook. And there I found the same shock and disbelief I was feeling. I found anger, love and compassion. And an almost immediate determination that the result of this vote will not be to diminish the ministry of women in the Church of England. And even some humour. Especially around gin.

So, thank God once more for Twitter. This Extravert was not alone when she needed company the most.
At CNMAC this year we chatted about relationships made over social media. Of course there are dangers. And we must be aware of those. But they are real, not virtual relationships and I valued them enormously this week.

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