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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Communion in 140 Characters

A British pastor planning the first Communion via Twitter has halted his plans for now. The Rev. Tim Ross, a British Methodist minister stopped the planned service after British Methodist Church authorities asked him to cancel the services, while they look into whether or not the Communion services would be valid.

Ross planned the services to connect Christians around the world by the act of taking the bread and the wine, as described in the New Testament as a way to remember Jesus Christ.

Ross had planned to tweet the Communion services, 140 characters at a time. Participants were to reply “Amen” to each post.

Before the service, he explained his motivations:

“[Twitter is] a community that’s as real and tangible as any local neighbourhood and we should be looking to minister to it. The perception of church is often that it is rusting away in antiquated buildings and not in touch with the world around us, but this is a statement that we’re prepared to embrace the technological revolution.”

News reports describe this as the first Twitter Communion, but it would not have been the first virtual Communion. Online churches have streamed Communion services for at least a year.

The postponed Twitter Communion is the latest in a continual struggle as faith groups decide just how and when to use the latest social media. How does this play out in your faith life? Do you tweet during worship services? Post Facebook status updates about sermons? Do you find it distracting when other worshipers use their phones during religious classes?

Please let me know how technology and faith combine in your life. My email is and my number is 540/735-1973.