In four 2-hour sessions held on April 20 and 27, Prof. Keith Nainby of California State University, Stanislaus, and the Vemkar digital ministry’s diocesan coordinator Arpi Nakashian, explored Digital Ministry in the Post-Covid Reality, introducing the world of digital media as an interactive and expanding space that may intimidate us, but that also offers powerful tools for parish and diocesan ministry. Both speakers challenged participants to broaden their horizons beyond the important ways they already use digital media to offer information and access to liturgical services. Several breakout discussion sessions were fueled by the speakers’ eye-opening examples of how to consciously and intentionally use digital media to engage and foster learning and community on a wide scale. As the course made clear, the Church worldwide is facing a door of global digital opportunity, and Vemkar and other communications vehicles are here to help parishes and institutions walk through it.
On May 9, St. Nersess Seminary’s spiritual director Dn. Yervant Kutchukian dealt with another aspect of contemporary pastoral reality, leading two 2-hour sessions on Hospital Visitation in the Time of Covid. In the morning session, participants shared experiences with ministry to the sick and their families under pandemic restrictions and heard ideas on how to make the best use of these challenging circumstances. Building on that theme, the afternoon session discussed how ministers who carry out multiple visits during any given month can manage the intensity and emotional load, processing their experiences to derive from them greater theological clarity and spiritual ease.
As the Seminary looks ahead to future offerings, we welcome suggestions from clergy and others involved in ministry: what would be helpful and enriching to you in your work and in your spiritual life? Drop us a quick line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can serve you with programming going forward.