Church on the Corner

Church on the Corner is an Anglican church in an old pub in Islington, London

We love this fast paced hard wired digital world with its breathless rush of creativity, opinion, noise and ideas. But there are addictive qualities to it, when through the constant stimulus we are in danger of losing the ability to sit still, to be quiet, to listen, even to sleep.

Lent has always been a time to cut back, reassess, and to make time for deeper things, echoing Jesus 40 days in the wilderness.

So for 40 days this lent at Church on the Corner we are exploring a digital discipline. Choosing to switch off some of the forms of media which demand our attention and switch on to things quieter and richer. And you are invited to join us.

Switch off (or set limits on the use of) one thing, be it Twitter, Facebook, Email, TV, iPod, whatever.
Take up something else.

read
pray
be silent
be alone
be with people
write
draw
learn
paint
sing
play

It is not an irony that we will use contemporary social media to make this happen, we have no desire to be less connected, just a desire to use that connectedness more constructively. And if you are feeling brave let us know, and we can share in the experience together. You can make your pledge public: Use twitter @cotclondon #digitalfast
Or use the comment form below.

May you find peace in the midst of a hectic world this Lent.

 

21 thoughts on “[Dis]Connect 2012

  1. Mark Fletcher says:

    We would love to hear your reflections on the experience of disconnecting this Lent. I have been blessed by the permission to live a little more quietly, to use technology a little more intentionally. I intend to take a little of the [Dis]connect into the rest of the year.

  2. Anne B says:

    I pledge not to connect to the internet as the first thing I do each morning. I pledge to buy a proper alarm clock so that I can leave my smartphone switched off in another room as I sleep. I pledge to enjoy connecting to the piano more often. I pledge to learn a new song or piece of music on it and show someone I love what I’ve learnt. I pledge to exercise regularly so I can sleep better and give my eyes the rest that they need.

  3. Michelle H says:

    Belatedly, I pledge to call instead of text when texting seems easier but calling would actually be nicer. I will also try to disconnect with work/organising things by 10.30 each night and connect with more sleep after 10 minutes of prayer each evening.
    At school, I will try to stop and eat lunch more often instead of doing things at the same time… to reflect on the morning and give God’s day back to him.
    Since it’s a popular choice at the moment, I’ve just ordered a copy of Simply Christian too!

  4. Michael Stuart says:

    My (belated) pledge is to avoid writing emails at work when I can just as easily speak to someone. I think this will be a particular challenge when I need to give someone a difficult message, or I am worried about someone’s response – that’s when I find it easier to hide behind email. I’m hoping this will lead to better outcomes and better relationships. That’s assuming people want to talk to me!

  5. Catherine O says:

    I am pledging to be more disciplined about taking time off to spend with my lovely family and friends

  6. Stephanie says:

    My pledge is to resist the flashing red light on my Blackberry and instead work on focusing on one thing at a time.

    Specifically I pledge to (1) turn that stupid flashing light off; (2) not look at any work email before I get on the train in the morning; (3) not look at my personal email, facebook, etc while at work (so call me if you need me!); and (4) limit facebook to once a week.

  7. Heidi Aho says:

    I pledge to leave the office on time and be proud of the work I can get done instead of ‘perfecting’ it at home and have it weigh down on my life, trusting god in the progress. I want to keep up the Lenten diary I started today and am genuinely excited about what it will reveal.

  8. Ruth D says:

    I deleted a load of game apps from my iPhone this morning. I waste so much time playing games on my phone (it’s much more of an issue for me than Facebook, Twitter etc). I pledge not to play any at all during Lent. I’ll try and read more instead, maybe even something Christian…

  9. Tom Preston says:

    I’m struggling to come up with something that will be at all valuable for me as in my job I need to use social media and internet stuff all the time. I am contemplating whether limiting my phone use will have any impact. I might even fish out an old one to force it.

  10. Sarah Hulcoop says:

    My pledge: to start leaving my laptop downstairs when I go up to bed at night, meaning I can pray or read or even actually go to sleep when I get there! And to find more interesting and fulfilling ways to relax and spend my free time, especially by spending more of it with lovely friends who live nearby

  11. Helen Coffey says:

    I pledge to give up tv – all tv! Including boxsets and iplayer etc. I waste A LOT of time watching things online, and not just in my free time; often when I’m meant to be doing work. Instead I plan to ask everyone what their favourite book is (or just a book they really love), and compile an amazing reading list to work through over Lent. Be prepared for an abuse-of-the-mailing-list-type CotC email winging its way to you on this score!

  12. Sarah Hedges says:

    I pledge to delete my facebook and networking apps from my phone and be more sensible in how often i check them (not just whenever I am bored) and to not waste entire evenings watching boxsets or on my laptop but to actually finish reading a book I started, work on my masters, or use the time to properly rest and relax.

  13. Stavs says:

    I pledge to take time to phone friends I’ve been meaning to talk to for a long time and to read Tom Wright’s Simply Christian.

  14. Anna says:

    I pledge to make more of an effort to connect with family and friends who aren’t online as much as I am and miss out on much of what I am and share. And I pledge to look at ways of helping those people who don’t have the privileged access to information that I do.

  15. Mary Beth says:

    I pledge to give up all blogs, to turn off my Facebook app, and to limit my at-home internet time to one hour each day (though without the blogs, I’m not sure what I’ll be looking at… scholarly articles?). When I want to check blogs, I pledge to read a psalm or pray instead. In my extra time, I will finish the two books I started in January, write, and Skype or write letters to friends and family.

  16. Chelsea says:

    I pledge to stop watching online TV and to reduce dramatically my blog reading.

  17. I love Sarah’s disconnect during lunch idea. Sign me up. I need to get away from desk — and the laptop, and the e-mail, and the Facebook — more often… I pledge to go back to the dead tree editions of newspapers, and read more books.

  18. ellie says:

    My Pledge: I pledge to give up watching mindless television and/or internet surfing in the evening and at weekends. I am ashamed to say that I waste a significant amount of my free time watching re repeats of Location Location (or similar) and reading ridiculous blogs, neither of which are a positive addition to my life. I am going to try and rediscover the simple things I really love to do: spending time with friends and family, long afternoons lost in a great novel, drawing & painting (yikes, it’s been a long time), and being outside. I’d also like to carve out some time to spend in contemplation and prayer each day, even if it is just 10 minutes. I also pledge that I won’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve everything I’ve set out above. But I’d like to try.

  19. Mark Fletcher says:

    I pledge to limit my time online to an hour a day, and stop allowing email to dictate my schedule.
    Instead I will plan my days better and aim for a good balance of work, prayer, rest and family.

  20. Sara Coffey says:

    My Pledge: I pledge to disconnect during my hour lunch break each day. All too often I sit at my desk and eat my lunch whilst still staring at my screen. I fritter away my break on Facebook, randomly browsing the internet, occasionally answering work emails that really could wait until after lunch. I pledge to disconnect from this. Instead I will use the time to eat (properly!) and then either read a Bible passage or some of Tom Wright’s ‘Simply Christian’, sit still, contemplate and pray.

  21. Ruth C says:

    My Pledge: I will switch off my email from 9pm -9am. I am already excited about how much time this will give me!

    Instead I will
    – write some letters to people I love that are far away.
    – spend some quiet time in the hospital chapel in the mornings before going in to the ward
    – spend some time reading each day- I will try to read Simply Christian by Tom Wright

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