Campolo to star at Church of Fools - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 30, 2004

Campolo to star at Church of Fools

-30/6/04

Firey Baptist preacher Rev. Tony Campolo will deliver a sermon in the worldís first 3D, interactive church at the end of July.

Campolo, 69, makes his debut as a cartoon avatar in the pixilated pulpit of Church of Fools on Wed 28 July (15.30 EST, 20.30 BST). He will be the first US preacher in the church - following luminaries like the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London and Canon Lucy Winkett of St Paulís Cathedral, London. The virtual church is a pilot project of Ship of Fools, the UKís leading Christian webzine.

"If you want your religion safe and sweet, donít embark on Ship of Fools," said Campolo, a former spiritual adviser to President Clinton and founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE). "Church of Fools is another intriguing voyage, taking even more creative risks - and Iím delighted to play a part in it."

Built by hi-end digital media company Specialmoves, the initiative makes Christian worship accessible to web surfers who may never darken the doors of their local churches. The lead sponsor is the Methodist Church in the UK.

"A visible congregation of 30 cartoon characters are joined by up to 1500 ìlurkersî at any one time, moving invisibly round the sanctuary and crypt,í said Simon Jenkins, editor of shipoffools.com. ëBefore Tony preaches there will be hymns, prayers, a liturgy and the congregation will walk, sit, kneel, shout hallelujah and whisper to each other. After the service, Tony will meet and greet worshippers."

Some 5000 people log on to Church of Fools each day. The sanctuary, open 24 hours, offers morning and evening prayer at 07.30 and 23.15 BST. A survey reveals that over 80 per cent of current visitors go to physical church less than four times a year.

"We are getting a high level of positive response from people who may not able to get to their local church, have bad experiences of organised religion or who never think about going to church," said Steve Goddard, co-editor of shipoffools.com. "Some come because they like the daily rhythm of morning and evening prayer and have made it part of their spiritual lifestyle."

The Rev Steve Titus, General Secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) - which covers five African nations - will be Church of Fools' first African preacher on Sun 25 July. He aims to address questions raised for the church by HIV/AIDS.

The Church of Fools pilot project is due to end on Sun 8 August.

Campolo to star at Church of Fools

-30/6/04

Firey Baptist preacher Rev. Tony Campolo will deliver a sermon in the worldís first 3D, interactive church at the end of July.

Campolo, 69, makes his debut as a cartoon avatar in the pixilated pulpit of Church of Fools on Wed 28 July (15.30 EST, 20.30 BST). He will be the first US preacher in the church - following luminaries like the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London and Canon Lucy Winkett of St Paulís Cathedral, London. The virtual church is a pilot project of Ship of Fools, the UKís leading Christian webzine.

"If you want your religion safe and sweet, donít embark on Ship of Fools," said Campolo, a former spiritual adviser to President Clinton and founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE). "Church of Fools is another intriguing voyage, taking even more creative risks - and Iím delighted to play a part in it."

Built by hi-end digital media company Specialmoves, the initiative makes Christian worship accessible to web surfers who may never darken the doors of their local churches. The lead sponsor is the Methodist Church in the UK.

"A visible congregation of 30 cartoon characters are joined by up to 1500 ìlurkersî at any one time, moving invisibly round the sanctuary and crypt,í said Simon Jenkins, editor of shipoffools.com. ëBefore Tony preaches there will be hymns, prayers, a liturgy and the congregation will walk, sit, kneel, shout hallelujah and whisper to each other. After the service, Tony will meet and greet worshippers."

Some 5000 people log on to Church of Fools each day. The sanctuary, open 24 hours, offers morning and evening prayer at 07.30 and 23.15 BST. A survey reveals that over 80 per cent of current visitors go to physical church less than four times a year.

"We are getting a high level of positive response from people who may not able to get to their local church, have bad experiences of organised religion or who never think about going to church," said Steve Goddard, co-editor of shipoffools.com. "Some come because they like the daily rhythm of morning and evening prayer and have made it part of their spiritual lifestyle."

The Rev Steve Titus, General Secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) - which covers five African nations - will be Church of Fools' first African preacher on Sun 25 July. He aims to address questions raised for the church by HIV/AIDS.

The Church of Fools pilot project is due to end on Sun 8 August.

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