Episode #64

Can You *Like* God?

How some millenials, hipsters and supermodels are finding their religion

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The millenial generation has a reputation for selfies, oversharing and cat memes, but many faith leaders are flocking to platforms like Facebook and Twitter to attract more of these young people to the church.

In this week's episode, reporter (and lapsed Catholic) Marielle Segarra visits several tech-savvy churches in and around New York City to see if worship via smartphone apps and social media can bring her back into the fold.

Click on the audio to hear Segarra's personal journey and how one Long Island pastor tracks down parishioners away at college to make sure they are going to Mass.  

Do you have any personal stories about technology and faith? 

Leave a comment below or tweet us at @NewTechCity.

    Music Playlist

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi


Charlie Herman


Marielle Segarra

Comments [3]

Don Wigal [WHY-gul] from NYC

I think some basics some of us learned from Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s about communication generally apply as well to our spiritual journey. The aspects includes the message, the medium or media, the messenger, and the massage. Each element can be harmful if it becomes the tail wagging the dog of one or more of the rest of them. But, the synergistic co-operation of these elements could be essential to a positive spiritual journey of individual and group.

Dec. 12 2013 10:52 AM
Julie from Brooklyn Heights

So interesting... I'm an Episcopal priest, and my fiancé used to go to Liberty church until we got engaged. This episode really hit home for me. I lean more toward the camp of folks who feel like social media is impersonal and better suited as a "follow-up" or "support" to what the church is already doing in person. My fiancé is more of the persuasion that church should feel more connected to your everyday experience, so a church that tweets, uses contemporary rock music in worship, etc. allows you to better connect church to everyday life. I do sometimes wonder if there's a middle ground, like what Trinity Wall Street is doing. But that is hard to do without proper staff expertise and support, especially if it isn't important to the church as a whole. At both Liberty and at Grace, where I am a priest, I ask around a lot about what led people to attend those churches. More often than not, it has to do with internet presence - a google search, and a scan of the church's website, and whatever other bits and pieces you can find out about the church to determine whether you want to try it or not. I don't know if social media at any church is what really makes the difference in terms of connecting people to God. It seems to be more about how you sell yourself online, then ultimately what connections people can make once they come to your church in person.

Dec. 11 2013 02:18 PM
Geoff W from New York, NY

A young Rabbi I l studied with while in college in Boston has texted me every Friday before shabbat since I graduated (5 years ago!) to wish me "Shabbat Shalom." He also does this for many of the Jewish holidays.

But the amazing thing is is that he does this with all of his students...literally hundreds, maybe thousands of students.

It helped us stay in touch and build a strong relationship, and just last year he married my wife and I.

Dec. 11 2013 08:06 AM

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