"BEING THERE" has taken on new meaning in a Web-connected world. Distance and remoteness are disappearing as barriers to community, at least for those who have internet access. While there's still a technological "developing world," the pace and reach of development are growing rapidly. Space is no measure of infinity—and no obstacle to inclusive community, to church in its widening embrace.
Being at this year's Annual Meeting of The Mother Church had that geo-location-free feeling for me, something close to a "church without walls" experience. Webcasting of itself isn't new. Maybe the difference was in the spirit of the gathering instead of the technology that enabled it. People who were "there"—in the pews and on computers (or mobile phones)—say that the Spirit moved us most tangibly as we sang "Siyahamba." This stirring hymn with South African roots (No. 460 in the new Hymnal Supplement) united us in ways that words alone can't always achieve. And how we need the fuel of spiritual inspiration to be on fire as healers!
When the Journal staff discussed what it means today to "put on record" a moment and a message so much of the Spirit, we agreed that this report needed to be different. It needed to smile. To sing. And to invite you to sing along—to feed your own fire within. You can still listen to the full meeting via the Internet by going to www.tfccs.com. But we hope this issue delivers some of the warmth of this year's meeting.