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Social Sermon: Pluralistic Preaching or Lazy Clergy

The Covenant Foundation has been kvelling about a move by @DarimOnline to promote the Social Sermon, an attempt to make sermon writing and constructing into an interact, whole congregation approach. Imagine marrying Facebook and twitter with the Shabbat sermon. I like it.

We have been experimenting for the last few months with a communal blog on Jewish Spirituality. A handful of Or Ami congregants have been responding to a monthly question on our blog, Jewish Spiritual Searchers, and then commenting upon their fellow bloggers posts. The conversations are fascinating. (In fact, the blog is up for a national techie award; go vote for Congregation Or Ami’s blog and Twitter feed.) It may be time to check out the Social Sermon soon.

According to the Covenant Foundation article (discovered through it’s Twitter stream):

The approach allows a rabbi, for instance, to compose a weekly sermon by posing ideas from the weekly Torah portion into an online communal conversation and allowing a discussion to unfold on Twitter or Facebook. Come Shabbat, the rabbi’s sermon reflects a communal conversation, not just his or her personal reflections.

Darim Online, a Covenant Foundation grantee organization, is spearheading the concept and encouraging educators, rabbis and other communal leaders to adopt it.

“People who participate in these sorts of decentralized conversations learn the content, connect with the rabbi, educator and/or other members of the community, and have some skin in the game,” said Lisa Colton, president of Darim Online.

“The sermon is no longer developed in isolation. Rather, the Social Sermon allows participants to feel represented in the rabbi’s sermon, or a teacher’s presentation or a Torah study, for that matter. That we can own and shape these teachings and ideas collectively is very powerful.”

For more information about Social Sermon, go to Darim Online’s blog? And follow a communal conversation about Social Sermon on Twitter at #socialsermon.

After talking to my kids, some congregants and Sarah Sherman, I just might check it out.

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