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Trinidad and Tobago, September, 1st, 2017 (Newsday/Ana-Lissa Jack). The RC Church is seeking to reinvent the way in which it communicates the message of faith to the current and next generation. “People are no longer connecting to church today the way they used to connect 50 years ago,” said Bishop Jason Gordon at the launch of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) Pastoral Letter on Communications at Emmaus Retreat Centre, Arima.
He said methods which were used to engage people will not work in this time as they are outdated. The letter is meant to analyse how communication affects and guides the church in using the media available. “Due to the rapid developments in technology, we have created this document to really enhance how we spread the message of the church, especially to younger persons.” The pastoral letter is titled New Ways of Being Church in a Digital Milieu.
The pastoral letter consists of several sections, including research on the methods of communication currently being used by members of the church. It identified the forms of communication which various age groups preferred and suggestions on how to better reach their demographic.
He said for the more traditional people, it was found articles and wordy documents appealed to them, however for the tech-savvy generation this is not the case. Gordon said, “You will find that the young generation are more into image- driven communication.
That’s a whole new way of thinking.” He said the key to drawing young people to the message of Christ is deliver it to where they are, in their language and in a way they can understand.
“We have to find ways to break down the information into bite-size pieces and use the digital platform to engage them.” The letter is a challenge to the AEC territories to think of the way in which they transmit the message of faith to the new generation, while staying faithful to the message of the gospel.
AEC representatives received copies of the letter to take back to their territories. “The first audience of the letter will be the ministers in the various ministries of the church, these include priests, catechists and those who proclaim the message,” Gordon explained. “If the methods used by people giving the message do not change, then there will be no change in the result.”