What an exciting time it is for online advancements at St Michael and All Angels Cathedral! This year has marked the launch of a newly designed website, which we hope you have all had the pleasure of visiting. If not, you can see it here: http://stmichaelscathedral.ca/ There is new content weekly, and it is easily viewed on your smaller hand held devices such as a smart phone or tablet, as well as normal computer screens.

You may have also noticed that we are promoting links to our Social Media in the Weekly Bulletin, as well as on the Website. There are small icons at the bottom of the Bulletin, and Website that will link you directly to our Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. If you have not clicked on these, please have a look and see what we have been up to!

What is Social Media, and how do we fit in as a church? Social Media is a new online way of communicating to large groups of people all at once. Some of you may be familiar with Facebook, where you may connect with your friends and family by posting comments, sending messages, uploading photos and humorous images from the web. Not only is Facebook useful to us as a church, but so are Twitter, and Instagram.

Social Media is a highly used platform for individuals, friends, colleagues and families to connect, but it is also a very powerful resource for companies and business, which is where we fit in. When I post an image to the Cathedral’s Instagram page, I can share it to Twitter and Facebook at the same time, exposing the news to a larger audience. Only the people who follow us, or search directly for us will be able to see the post in most cases, so it can find it’s way all around Kelowna. This is very useful for promoting events, and sharing news. On our pages we have a list of “friends” who we also follow and connect with, opening us up to news and events all around us. Along with many Anglican associations, other churches, charities and church folks all over the world, I have connected us with the small business’ and local companies within Kelowna to broaden our reach, and tighten our community bonds.

Over our short time since we began our active presence on Social Media we have had some wonderfully positive encounters. While promoting the important Bell Ringing Remembrance Ceremony held in June, we used Social Media to spread the message. Not only did Kelowna Now and Castanet News connect and promote the event through our posting, but our own Mayor Colin Basran sent out a Tweet commending the importance of our event to all of Kelowna! Later in the summer we also connected with Just Generation (the youth initiative of PWRDF) who encouraged us to enter some photos of our Community Garden into a photo contest surrounding sustainability on Instagram. We won the contest, and were featured in a spotlight article on their website!

If you think that most people will do a Google search before they contact or visit any kind of establishment, we have to assume that before a newcomer or visitor opens our physical front door that they will first walk through our virtual front door. Our Social Media and Website are the forward facing welcoming front doors in the digital world. We have comments and enquiries every week from people all over North America and in Kelowna because they have seen photos or news on these emerging platforms. We should all be very excited, and proud of the interest in our beautiful Cathedral, and the new eyes that befall us every day thanks to our Social Media networking.