Salt and Light: Witnessing to God’s Presence in the World

Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world (Matt 5:13-16). That means that people see God in and through us, and we see God in and through the acts of others. Have you had a God Sighting lately? Have you been somewhere where the unexpected kindness of someone makes a difference in your day? Have you or someone you know spoken out against racism or in support of the rights of gays and lesbians? Have you witnessed the faith and courage of someone as they face a life threatening illness?

Thanks to technology first developed to chronicle human suffering, we can now share our witness and testimony about God’s work in the world for all to see. Ushahidi (Swahili for witness and testimony) is an internet application that was first developed to document acts of political violence in Kenya in 2008. Since then, Ushahidi has been used to monitor elections in India, locate earthquake survivors in Haiti, identify oil washing up on beaches following the BP oil spill, and monitor crime in Atlanta. Ushahidi collects, sorts and maps reports from observers, then displays this information on a website. If the technology is useful for monitoring suffering, why not use it to report Good News!

This is what we have done at South Church in New Britain. Using the Ushahidi application we have set up a website to allow anyone to report their God Sighting, their Good News about the ways God is acting in the world today. Reports will appear on the Salt and Light website with a brief description and a color-coded dot on a map to indicate whether the God sighting was evidence of faith, compassion or justice. Try it! There are currently four ways to submit your witness and testimony to the Salt and Light website:

1. Go to the website, http://saltandlight.crowdmap.com then click on the green “Submit a Report” button in the upper right. First enter a short title, then a brief description of your God Sighting, next click whether this event was a reflection of faith, compassion or justice, and finally enter the location and click the green “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.

2. Send a text message including a brief description of your God Sighting to 860-681-9128. Include the word faith, compassion or justice and your location in your text.

3. Tweet your God Sighting on Twitter with the hashtag #besaltandlight.

4. Or send and email to saltandlight@southchurch.org. Here too, include the word faith, compassion or justice and your location.

Including your name and email address is optional (when reporting through the website). If you choose not to include your name, your submission is completely anonymous. Once Pastor George approves your report, your witness and testimony will appear on the Salt and Light website. Be salty! Let your light shine!

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Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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