Where the Digital Meets the Divine:

Expanding our Spiritual Bandwidth

For sometime now, we at St. Andrew have been describing our current moment as “Where the Digital Meets the Divine.” In response to restrictions on physical gatherings, churches everywhere have been exploring new ways to use technology to extend their reach as the body of Christ.


The phrase itself comes from DeEtte Decker (https://deettedecker.com)Storyteller + Social Media Strategist for the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination. Through videos (like the one below), Facebook groups, and zoom webinars, DeEtte has been encouraging and training mainline churches in how to use new technologies as ministry tools and service opportunities.


We have been so impressed with DeEtte’s work that St. Andrew has joined forces with the Presbytery of East Iowa to invite her to Iowa City to share in-person more of her practical thoughts and theological insights.


From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 23, St. Andrew and the Presbytery of East Iowa will be hosting a Workshop + Retreat in which we can explore the intersection between the Digital + the Divine that has opened in our COVID + Post-COVID world.


Throughout the morning sessions, DeEtte will lead us through conversations on the complexities of our current moment. During her discussions, she’ll be joined by the Rev. Dr. Jan Schnell, a professor of liturgics at Wartburg Theological Seminary, and other voices. After lunch is provided, she will focus on a broader discussion of how technology can be both freeingly fun and frustratingly finicky.


For those looking to join remotely, all the events will be streamed on St. Andrew’s YouTube channel (https://bit.ly//SAPCYouTube) and participants can join the discussion via live chat.


While the seminar portion will end at 2 p.m., the Presbytery’s Pastoral Care Team will offer an afternoon debriefing session to those who wish to talk more. Participants also can stay to walk through St. Andrew’s wildflower trails or even play a pick-up game of pickleball.


The conversation then continues on Sunday morning, when DeEtte will speak in St. Andrew's 8:30 and 11 a.m. worship services. In between, she will be available for more informal discussions about the role of the church both in-person and online.


To register for any part of the Workshop + Retreat, please click on the button below. Please keep checking this webpage for updated information, or contact St. Andrew's church office with any questions: office@saintandrew-ic.org.


CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


A Workshop + Retreat

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | October 23, 2021


Join us either in-person or remotely for an in-depth, hybrid discussion of what DeEtte Decker has called the Intersection of the Digital and the Divine. The discussion will take place in the Sanctuary of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and will be available on the church's YouTube channel. Lunch will be provided. 


2 p.m. | October 23, 2021


In-person participants are invited to stay after the presentations for follow-up discussion groups. Participants also will be welcome to linger for a pick-up game of pickleball in the gym or to walk through the wildflower trails surrounding the church property.


This event is co-sponsored by the Leadership Development and Pastoral Care teams of the Presbytery of East Iowa.


Click on the image for a full-size PDF flyer.

Retreat Participants

Here is a list of the people scheduled to share their insights during the Workshop + Retreat.

  • deEtte Decker

    DeEtte Decker is the Social Media Strategist for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a Communications Consultant specializing in digital media strategies for faith-based and non-profit organizations. Growing up in a long line of Pentecostal pastors taught her how to spin a tale with passion and charisma while simultaneously setting forth objectives, determining actions to achieve goals, and mobilizing the women’s ministry to execute the potluck. It’s fair to say the Church has been her first love, her biggest heartbreak, and much more than an outdated institution that she can’t seem to quit. Her business, communication, military, and ministry experience combine to form a unique and fresh perspective on our world, faith, and family.

  • Jan Schnell

    The Rev. Dr. Jan Schnell is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and an Assistant Professor of Liturgics at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque. She previously has served on the faculties of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. In her teaching, preaching and research, she is committed to interdisciplinarity, and pedagogies or methodologies that recognize the inherent value and wisdom that each participant brings. She delights in God’s spirited movement in the fabric of our daily lives and on the streets of our public spaces. 

  • Warren Jensen

    As the moderator of the Presbytery of East Iowa's Pastoral Care Team, the Rev. Warren Jensen is a Pastor to Pastors. His ministry focuses on helping his fellow teaching elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament begin begin to build a greater sense of identity and community among themselves as Pastors and leaders. He will be leading a post-Workshop discussion group for in-person participants who would like to debrief while all the discussion topics are fresh in their minds.

  • Rob Martin

    The Rev. W. Robert Martin III began his ministry as St. Andrew Presbyterian Church's lead pastor in January 2021. As such, he has learned firsthand how to begin meeting and ministering to a congregation during a time of pandemic and social distancing. Over this three decades in ministry, he also has served as a chaplain in the Tenderloin of San Francisco ministering to folks dying of AIDS, as a chaplain for Warren Wilson Presbyterian College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, and as a pastor of churches in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Palo Alto, California. He has served as a liturgical writer for PC(USA) General Assemblies and for various national conferences around the country.

Video Introduction

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