It is my hope, and our vision that digitalorthodoxy.com be a place that supports those in ministry with young people by conversing with culture, mission and theology and by providing networks, resources, encouragement and training opportunities across Australia.
Early in 2004 a number of youth workers were having a conversation, we were lamenting the loss of a number of Australian youth ministry resources. During this discussion we wondered how we might be able to provide a space for youth ministry practitioners to share their ideas, papers, studies, stories and faith with one another.
After the conversation a couple of us came up with the idea of creating a website that would provide such a space, and with that the concept of digitalorthodoxy.com was born.
This site is not owned by any particular Christian denomination, it’s mission is to be an ecumenical space, so anyone can participate, submit articles, papers, discussion papers, jobs and events.
Darren Wright, a Youth and Children’s Ministry Worker in the Riverina, NSW, Australia is managing the site and is currently the primary contributor to the blog(s) but is more than willing and open tot he idea of others beginning to participate and becoming contributors to the site.
It is my hope that lecturers and students in youth ministry courses would see it fit to publish their work on digitalorthodoxy.com for the continuation of discussions and training that surrounds youth ministry in Australia.
I also hope that youth workers and pastors will mentor other young people and leaders into writing and participating in the life of the website and community.
This is a site for practitioners and for people who are thinking about ministry with, and the faith development of young people.
My philosophy is based around finding, mentoring and encouraging new leaders to think about ministry with young people.
This site is not run for profit, this is an opensource clearinghouse for youth ministry studies and thinking.
This website operates on the “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Australia.”
Creative Commons offers a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors and artists. CC have built upon the “all rights reserved” of traditional copyright to create a voluntary “some rights reserved” copyright. CC is a nonprofit. All of their tools are free.
For the complete details of the License please follow this link: Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike 2.1 Australia
The Domain Name
So, why Digital Orthodoxy, what does it all mean?
Digital Orthodoxy – because youth ministry is more than faith by numbers
Firstly, we’d like to challenge the concept that youth ministry is about faith (orthodoxy) by numbers (digital), youth ministry in many cases has been stripped of it’s intellectual and theological basis. Churches ask questions like “where are the young people?” and “why isn’t our youth group attracting people?” and they ask these questions in many cases in isolation from theological discourse, and without exploring critical questions about their ministry. Ministry with young people is to be focused on conversations between culture and theology, between sociology and faith.
digitalorthodoxy – because we are called to people who embrace and live in this culture
Secondly, Karen Ward from the Church of the Apostles in Seattle writes this in the book The Relevant Church – A New Vision for Communities of Faith about her faith community: “Our liturgy has been described by visitors as new wave Byzantine and digital orthodox. We are liturgical and sacramental. Communion is weekly. We are ancient and future. We Bach and rock. We chant and spin. We are emo and alt. We are a CCM-free zone. We have DJs and turntables, taggers and spray paint, emcees and poets. We have our own iconographers. We have a ministry of making our own Anglican prayer beads and cards. We are nu-monastics-urban, postmodern monks… Ministry with young people is often very much like this, we are called to people who embrace this culture, who live in it, we are called to be poets and taggers and DJs, we are called to minister with rappers and rockers, with young people from many cultures. We are called to spread the message that Christ embodied, that God wants to be in relationship with each and every one of us, that we are called to live out a radical discipleship as followers of Christ.
digitalorthodoxy – because all the linear youth ministry domains were taken
Thirdly, all the domains like “youthspecialties.com” and “youthministry.com” were already taken…
This site is not owned by any particular Christian denomination, it’s mission is to be an ecumenical space, so anyone can participate, submit articles, papers, discussion papers, jobs and events. Currently the management of the site sits with Darren Wright, but it is hoped that over time a management team would involve people from all states who will seek out and help mentor people who will contribute to the site’s content.
Darren Wright – Manager / Admin
Darren Wright is a Uniting Church Youth Worker serving in the Riverina Presbytery in NSW as the Presbytery Youth and Children’s Ministry Worker.
Darren has previously worked in congregational ministry, high school chaplaincy and in local government as a youth worker (as well as a petrol station attendant, supermarket employee, dairy manager, furniture sales person at David Jones.
His interests include music, film, theology, pop-culture, working with young people in at-risk areas and is particularly interested in how the church and theology connects with pop culture and he facilitates a subject on “youth, culture and mission” for St Marks Theological College in Canberra.
Darren is available to speak at events or venues, leaders gatherings, camps, gatherings of young people and worship, to contact him use the contact form on this website.