Preachers going online: Blogging powerful healing force

Gerry Michalski delivers his weekly sermons on the bus, in fast-food restaurants and on the street — all without leaving his church.

Godcasting gives the lead pastor of Soul Sanctuary a portable pulpit that allows his words to go wherever people choose to take them.

“I think a lot of people, before they even walk through our doors, have listened to many of our life lessons,” said Michalski, 41. “The web is a priority for us and we understand people want to take their music or our life lessons with them.”

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Soul Sanctuary, at 1111 Chevrier Blvd., could be the first Manitoba church to record its sermons and make them available for download on the web.

Michalski isn’t sure how many people have clicked on them. He said they’re listened to regularly by people in New York and England, and church members who miss a Sunday sermon.

“We don’t necessarily do it for church members,” Michalski said. “We find that a majority of people access our website as the entry gate into the church. It’s about being connected and easy access for the people we’re trying to reach.”

FREE FILES

The free files can be downloaded manually from Soul Sanctuary’s website or automatically through a subscription.

Godcasts are a take on podcasts, which are audio or video files that can be downloaded to a computer and copied to an Apple iPod or similar mobile gadget. It’s popular in the U.S. and slowly making waves in Canada.

Earlier this week, Podcastalley.com had more than 1,350 listings in its religion and inspiration category.

Among the downloads are talk shows about paganism, Bible passages and Catholic rock music.

Soul Sanctuary began podcasting in January after American theologian Leonard Sweet visited Winnipeg and encouraged local churches to embrace the high-tech practice.

“He was more or less the motivating force,” Michalski said. “It’s critical for who we are as a culture to use the Internet as a positive. We find there’s a lot of web crawlers out there who see the Internet as their church.”

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Winnipeg Sun, Canada
Mar. 20, 2006
Chris Kitching, Staff Reporter
winnipegsun.com

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