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Introduction to Church App Technology
The idea of remotely attending church isn't a new one. Many broadcasters around the world offer Sunday services live for 'at home' congregations. For many, this is the only way they can attend church regularly.
For example, elderly people are often not physically able to attend church. Families are hard-pressed when it comes to time these days and many of us simply have too much work to get done. Sad as it may be; Sunday isn't a resting day anymore. Virtual churches and streamed sermons can also fill gaps left in some communities where churches have been forced to close down due to financial troubles or a dwindling congregation.
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St. Andrew's App
A church in Scotland has pioneered this new idea of having an iPhone and iPad app which allows people to view a live sermon on their devices. The church in Bo'ness first began to stream live church meetings, amongst other events, live on their website with the help of a technologically minded member of their congregation. This initial idea was helpful to those who could not attend for numerous reasons and it also helped to promote the church in the national media.
Their latest iPad and iPhone app goes a step beyond this. The creators stress that you can now view a live mass anywhere in the world so long as you have either a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
You can also be updated on church news and view past events and videos on your iPhone or iPad.
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Not Just for Bo'ness
The church leaders, while proud of their creation, stress that this isn't an idea they're keeping to themselves. They say that in a time when church numbers are dropping due to modern lifestyles and people's busy schedules that innovation like this is necessary. Other churches across the world are expected to follow suit in creating websites, apps and online communities and congregations so more people can access a church service on an iPhone.
This app is a brilliant idea as it compliments modern lifestyles perfectly. People are extremely busy and the one thing everyone has with them is their phone. So why not tap into that resource?
While this is currently limited to the iPhone, St. Andrews have said they intend to release similar apps for streaming church sermons to Android phones as well as Nokia and BlackBerry devices.
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Benefits of This for Everyone
The benefits of bringing church sessions to the digital age can be seen a mile off. Firstly, it will cut costs within churches, particularly those that have to spread many preachers across vast rural areas with little population density. Virtual services could reduce the number of preachers needed and introduce a mobile parish with technology to fill the gaps.
This also brings religion into the modern age which is a good thing, especially in an era where faith is increasingly looked upon as old fashioned.
Overall, I think this new app and others which will follow are brilliant ideas and well worth a look for religious smartphone users. If you want a church service on your iPhone or other church apps then take a look.