Getting our virtual acts together

Robbie Lloyd, Research and Project Officer, Justice and Peace Office

Assembling on-line from all over the country on a chilly winter Wednesday night, those marking the end of the 2019-20 Year of Social Justice in our Digital World were in for a treat. Thanks to Ruth Moraes’ seamless e-orchestration for the Justice and Peace Office of Sydney Archdiocese, and the shared coordination of Broken Bay and Parramatta Dioceses, courtesy of Hazel Lim and Patrice Moriarty respectively, everyone was able to stay clearly connected in this Tri-Diocesan partnership e-event.

Bishop Richard Umbers reflected on the timeless Biblical messages about responding to the times as they unfold “in today’s terms”, and the need for people of faith to get amongst it and embrace new ways of e-being. As COVID19 has forced us all to reconsider how we come together, so too the Digital World asks us to bring fresh minds to a challenging but exciting way of exploring our human shared encounter.

Then teacher, performance poet and writer Beth Doherty inspired imaginations with a long and enchanting “slam poem” exploring all the diverse views of life unfolding in the digital space. Beth also called for us all to tackle the job of new learning created by Social Media, challenging as it may be.

Ultimately, the values and practices promoted in Catholic Social Teaching are there as tools to help everyone manoeuvre our way through the Social Media shoals. And sharing in e-fellowship such as this very Zoom Conference models how we can ‘stay in the game’ and work out together how to make sense of and behave well in our increasingly virtualised world.

A great way to round off this year of ‘Making it Real: Genuine Human Encounter in our Digital World”, and it’s segues nicely into the 2020-21 Year of Social Justice focusing on Mental Health.”

Thanks to all who participated for your enthusiastic questions and shared ideas.