Communicating through the Back Door

Who knew that architecture was a great way to promote understanding about other faiths? I found this out first-hand in Chicago recently where I was attending RC Congress and took in a sacred space architecture tour.

The way it works is that for each location, someone from that faith explained the key points of the faith and the worship experience, then this woman who knew a ton of stuff about architecture talked about the building.

It got me thinking—this kind of indirect communication was pretty effective. People who maybe wouldn’t sign up for a multi-faith seminar might very well do an architecture tour.

Here’s another example of this back-door communication, one from my tradition. The United Church of Canada is trying to do this in a creative way (OK, so I’m biased) in its Paint Your Faith project. They brought artists together to create these giant murals/graffiti collections/artworks on the walls of public buildings in Toronto and Vancouver to get people talking about faith.

The Vancouver Paint Your Faith project is taking place as I write. Check out some of the photos from it on their flickr site.

So how else could we apply this?

– Rebekah


the guidelines

So, the good folks I keep company with at WACC are going to start spicing up this blog, too. They asked for guidelines. I thought it’d make a good post for all our readers

– write like you’re talking to a friend

– blog only about what excites you (okay, not that Kate got kicked off Dancing with the Stars, but you catch my drift)

– fear not slang, idioms, a little disastrous grammar – it’s only a blog afterall

– keep it short. If you can’t read in the time it takes a Starbucks barista to holler your name & order, it’s a snoozefest

– a few pictures or hyperlinked examples never hurt anyone

– blog like you want to keep your job

Anything else, Communicators?


they say NE1 Cn Txt

Are you one of those people who mourn the death of the sentence? (full stop).  Are you the last person you know who uses polysyllabic words? Have you wondered where uppercase letters went? If so, this post is for you.

Bookmark Webopedia for an exhaustive list of txt talk or a decode a little bit of Internet Slang here. It’ll help you get through another day as a professional communicator . . . or supper with your 13 year old twins.

I’d love to leave you with a snappy example of an incomprehensible SMS, but this blog-girl doesn’t even have cable . . .

Now, good students, don’t be geezers go figure this out . . .



Remember how your momma said that she had to walk up hill to school both ways in (insert preferred meteorological exaggeration here) that you have it soooooo good now. Well, this is what we’ll be telling our kids about our rough lives.  Ever have BlackBerry thumb? A little inflammation and pain for the sake of changing the world one txt by txt? How about Bluetooth Ear? Yup, that one might require antibiotics.  Wii-itis? For those who have forgotten that tennis involves real people, not avatars.  And, of course, there’s the old-school cell phone elbow. That just stops blood from going where it should be going. Pins and needles will snap you out of this one.  Through in some ergonomic concerns and a healthy dose of LCD induced myopia, and you have one heck of a hazardous job.  So, don’t let anyone call you a wimp the next time you forgo touch football for texting at the next family get together.

This entry brought to you by Gadget Related Injuries from Women’s Health.

What do rights have to do with it?

The Millennium Development Goals – ratified by 189 UN countries in 2000 – are perhaps among the most unifying principles the world could imagine, said WACC’s Deputy Director of Programmes, Philip Lee, while addressing participants at a workshop on communication rights and millennium development goals (MDGs)at the RCCongress 2010.

“Though the methods of achieving these goals are likely embedded in all kinds of religious and political complications, their basic principles, which are entirely supported by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international agreements, are uncontroversial.”

Why, then, is the vision of reaching these targets waning?  For Lee, who is also the Editor of WACC’s international journal Media Development and author of several books on human rights and communications, the reason is the “astonishing” and “conspicuous” absence of attention to communication rights.

Read more here.

warm & toasty in Chicago

Our wet and jet-lagged selves are trying to figure out this blog thing face to face. With a ceiling of just under 300 feet, most of us have spent more time on runways than soakin’ up the sun-rays.

Here’s where we’re not.

Jean is really feelin’ dinner right now. Sheila’s looking forward to catching up with old friends; Erin is excited for Wednesday’s with Morrie’s (author – Mitch Albom); Erik is jazzed for Garrett’s popcorn . . . and is anyone stoked for the conference???

AH! Rebekah’s got it – she’s excited for Basilio’s *blockbuster* *brainblowing* workshop on (dig dig dig for the agenda) . . . I swear, we’re all communicators here.  . . Jean’s got it “New Media & Changing Society.”


Erin –

Communicating in Chicago

The Religion Communication Congress is here!

Let no one accuse communicators of lack of vision because this event was a decade in the making and we won’t see another until Season 19 of American Idol.

Here’s a run down:

Hundreds of participants, from about a dozen countries and more than a handful of religious traditions, four jam-packed days with sixty or so speakers and workshops.  Can’t give you all the details here, but let’s just say Pulitzer Prizes, NY Times best sellers, PhD’s & LL.D’s, and interviews on Larry King Live are no strangers on this roster.

We’ll report more as we become experts in:

– peace & journalism – popular media & the remaking of religions – copyright law & communities of faith – communication rights & the millennium development goals –  justice journalism – communications ethics – beyond viral video – finding your marketing sweet spot –  top-notch congregational communication – kids & media in faith communities – producing quality radio programs – gender, media, and social change – faith in the second life community – the soul of photojournalism – web ministry 3.0 –

. . and you thought the Vancouver Olympics were a long time coming.