Communications

Digital Parish: The future of the Web and digital ministry

We’re doing a deep tech dive in this session, talking about some concepts whose relevance is not fully obvious right now for digital ministry: NFTs, blockchains and Web 3.0. But their time is coming… quickly. Mitchell Atencio of Sojourners magazine provides insight on these concepts that are impacting the future of the web and digital community. 

So if you’re curious about where the digital world is heading and what’s next in terms of concepts impacting the way we relate to one another online… if you’re curious or unfamiliar about concepts like NFTs and Blockchains… then you’re going to want to hear what Mitchell is saying.

The Episode

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Show Notes 

Mitchell Atencio's original article on Web 3.0 and it's implications for the church is found on Sojourners.

Need a deeper dive on blockchain? Mitchell recommends this overview from The Verge.

Mitchell also regularly visits the Substack of LM Sacasas for updates on technology and society.

Ryan Dunn:

This is pastoring in the digital parish, your resource and community for leading in digital ministry. My name is Ryan Dunn, and soon we're gonna meet Mitchell Atencio, who is our adjunct professor for this session. We're gonna kind of do a deep tech dive in this session, talking about some concepts whose relevancy is not fully obvious right now for digital ministry, but their time is coming quickly. We're really talking about concepts that are impacting the future of the web and digital community. So if you're curious about where the digital world is, and what's next in terms of concepts impacting the way we relate to one another online, if you're curious or unfamiliar about things like NFTs and blockchains, then you're gonna want to hear what Mitchell is saying. So let's meet our adjunct professor Mitchell atendio

Ryan Dunn:

Mitchell Atencio is the assistant news editor with Sojourners, which is a magazine that is likely familiar to many of us. And as such the bulk of Mitchell's work in writing centers on the magazine's focus of social justice issues. But back in November of 2021, Mitchell wrote a helpful article on web 3.0 in its implications for the church and the article addressed ideas like cryptocurrencies and non fungible tokens words. That scared me because I just don't quite get what they are. And in having conversations about this since then, I know I'm not alone. So Mitchell, thanks for that help that you've offered in relieving some of that fear. And thanks for being willing to spend some additional time with us in talking about that stuff. I really appreciate you being here.

Mitchell Atencio:

Well, Ryan, thanks for reading and thanks for having me on

Ryan Dunn:

You bet. Well, let's start with the beginning and just how you got wrapped up in this kind of technical lingo and what spurred you to write about it for Sojourners?

Mitchell Atencio:

Yes. I've been a reporter now for almost over five years, a little over five years. And when I was in college at Arizona State, I was covering the state legislature and there was a guy in the state legislature who introduced a bill that would allow people to pay their taxes and cryptocurrencies. Okay. And I thought, well, that's fascinating. This is around 2018. So I reached out to him and talked with him. He essentially said, I know this isn't gonna go anywhere, but this is a burgeoning technology. And I wanna signal to crypto people what we, maybe what we'd call crypto bro these days. But he wouldn't have said it at that time. He said, I wanna signal to them that, you know, this is a place where we're interested in that type of stuff. We're interested in new technology. And because I didn't know that he didn't really think the bill would go anywhere when he introduced it.

Mitchell Atencio:

I took a lot of time to like, figure out what this is like, what's a cryptocurrency. Well, how would you even pay taxes in it? What would the state do with it once they got it? And so since then, I've probably paid a little bit more attention than most people have to cryptocurrencies, whether it be ether or Bitcoin or anything else. But I really paid that much attention until a friend of mine who now works at the company rainbow, which is a, a digital wallet, a term we can talk more about later if we need to. Right. He started working there and because we're friends, I was following it and I just asked him, I said, can we sit down for an hour and just talk about all the ways this might intersect with church. And we can just, I can throw things at the wall and you tell me what would stick and what would make sense. So we did that. And after that, I came away with a feeling of this is something worth paying attention to wherever it's gonna go. However, we feel about the technology and its uses. This is something that is worth thinking about reading, about writing about, and, and that was kind of how I got spurred onto writing this article.

Ryan Dunn:

Were there some churches that you had heard about that had started to make some inroads or, I mean, maybe start using cryptocurrency?

Mitchell Atencio:

No, not at the time, actually. We really just kind of talked about all the possible futures from cryptocurrency tithing to NFTs for Bible studies, things like that. Right. We just kind of like brainstormed, what might the world look like in 50 years? If it goes the way he, he thinks it's gonna go, but I hadn't heard of any churches or pastors or anything that notable. I mean, there was, there was somebody who had created a cryptocurrency called Jesus coin or something like that, but it was very gimmicky and, and not a serious endeavor.

Ryan Dunn:

So this was really kind of like that Amazonian Senator, who was like a, the technology isn't there yet, but it's coming. And so we need to be aware of it. So, yep. I know that several of our listeners are aware of a lot of these technologies because we've had kinda offline talks about 'em, but in order to bring some of our other people up to speed, I think we need to kind of start with the highminded overarching umbrella of this whole new kind of phase of technology, which is web 3.0, can you describe for us what web 3.0 is?

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. I, I think the best way to do it is to figure out what one and two were, right. If you, if you're first hearing about web 3.0, you wanna know, well, what, what came first? And I actually think that's a good guide when we get into these conversations, I would recommend people focus less unless they're very interested in, on the super technical details of how and focus more on the, what does it do? So let's start 1.0 was kind of what was coming around in the early nineties as computers started to be able to connect to the internet. Right? We called it the read only era. The metaphor I use in, in the article is to say that, you know, it was a digital brochure or a bulletin that you could put online. Somebody with coding ability could make something that could go online and you could open your computer and look at it.

Mitchell Atencio:

That was it. You could read it. Maybe you could see a photo and web 2.0 is the one that people are most familiar with. That's when really a lot of us started using the internet was when we could start doing read and write as they call it. And the right is less out coding in the background and more about creating content that people would see. So I remember when I was young, I would read an article on Yahoo sports and I would type up a comment about how I thought Tim Tebo was the best quarterback in all of college football and I'd hit send, and that's the right example, right? It's chat forums, it's social media, it's YouTube uploading videos or people to be able to look at. And, and that's, you know, what, what most of us use, what we're most familiar with, what is really all across the entire internet.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. That kind of gives the user a voice in a sense.

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. Gives people a voice, gives people ability to create their own content that is going to be interacted with, by other internet users and not just like the host of a website and web 3.0 is kind of still in development and anything in development. It's gonna be in contention about what fits, what doesn't, but blockchains cryptocurrencies, these are definitely things that fall under the category of web 3.0. And as I've kind of heard it described, you know, decentralization is a key part of web 3.0, so a a good way would be to compare to web 2.0 think about social media under web 2.0, when we go on Facebook or Twitter, those companies are what are hosting our ability to post our ability to create our ability to have account and under web 3.0, it wouldn't be a company, but it would be probably a blockchain that backs those things up.

Mitchell Atencio:

And, and it's a very complicated technology that we could talk about how it works. But what I try to tell people is don't focus so much on the, how just focus on the, what the application. So rather than a single company or computers or anything, blacking it a up it's it's code, it's internet code that is written that is very complicated. It's verified by every user in the system over time. And so no one person is gonna have moderation control. No one person is gonna be able to shut down the entire network. If you remember. I think around October, over of 2021, Facebook went down for a long time, their apps, everything. That's not the type of thing that would happen under web 3.0,

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. Are there some technologies now where we really see this decentralized or blockchain method of being in action

Mitchell Atencio:

Besides, you know, cryptocurrencies and NFTs? There's, there's very little know these, these are not coming to play in people's everyday lives all that often. And they probably won't, you know, even for a few more years, as technology starts to get adopted in the way that it often does

Ryan Dunn:

Well, as we start to future envision, maybe you can recall back to that conversation that you had with the futurist. What are some of the implications of web 3.0 for church world?

Mitchell Atencio:

Well, I think one of the potential implications and all of this should kind of be pre prefaced with the idea that a lot of this depends on what people want to happen. And a lot of this depends on people are willing to let happen. I think that's a good way to think about this. If you're somebody who's very skeptical of cryptocurrencies of NFTs, just imagine that, you know, these don't, this doesn't have to be the future. You, you can organize with the people around you and decide this is not a technology we're going to embrace, but some of those possibilities, you know, you can have currencies that you're able to send anywhere in the world to anybody in the world about as faster or faster than you can do it now. And, and for some people they think, well, what's great about that. I can use PayPal.

Mitchell Atencio:

I can use Zelle. I can use Venmo, but those are third party organizations, a PayPal, or your bank who is controlling, whether you can or can't send that money. So for myself, I can't send more than X amount of dollars a day, and I can only send them as fast as the network might allow. If PayPal goes down, I can't send any money. And those two things would change with cryptocurrencies and they are, they do change with cryptocurrencies. Currently, if you want to use a cryptocurrency you can send it anywhere to anybody. And it's, it's gonna take, as long as the network can take to verify that transaction and to write it onto the blockchain. So for wealth redistribution, if you're a church that cares a lot about sending money to churches in poor parts of the world, poor parts of the country, or if you care a lot about redistributing the money of your own congregation, you're gonna be able to do that easier and faster. It's gonna be verified, not by your bank or their bank or, or an intermediary. It's gonna be verified through the process, the technology itself.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay, well, and that makes sense from where I said working for United Methodist communications, which is kind of an international organization and we're based in the us, but one of the main difficulties we have in contracting internationally is how do we pay people? It's not always an easy process and having something like an international currency, a cryptocurrency would definitely facilitate that a little bit easier.

Mitchell Atencio:

One of the people Brantley Milligan, who I interviewed for this article also brought up the way that this technology is easier to access. Hmm. And so one thing that he talked about was if you're in a poorer part of the world, if you want access to funds from United States or something, you, some nobody has to set up a bank and like an institution has to set up in your country, close enough for you to travel, to close enough for you to verify yourself, your identity with cryptocurrencies, you just need an internet access and a device to access the internet. And the ability to remember your number of, of how people are gonna send you the money and then your own codes to access that stuff and make sure other people don't, it's a bit like he compared it to landlines and cell phones. There are parts of the world that never had landline and they jumped straight to cell phones because the technology is easier to adopt. And I, I think that's one of the big potential uses that the church will see is like, you're saying you don't have to wait for other institutions to provide you with the opportunity to send resources to others. I talked to a pastor in the E LCA who talked about in places where there's disaster relief, they're able to send my much quicker and much easier than trying to figure out what, what denomination what's the transaction rate, things like that.

Ryan Dunn:

Wow. Okay. I think in the article, you'd spoke about a church in Germany that was beginning to use that. How are they putting that into practice? Yeah.

Mitchell Atencio:

So this was a, a pastor Zack Corder in Hungary. I think who we're talking about and he's been writing basically a white paper and other documents and articles and columns and things, trying to convince the church to get more involved and trying to convince the church to use it in those sorts of ways. You know, he's got all sorts of ideas that we don't get into in the article, but he was the one who would, who would actually talked about disaster relief. And he said that he knew that there were people doing that work who were able to send, you know, the quote from him is he said, quote, instead of having someone buy all the supplies and then distributing to people in need, they were able to collect people's online wallets. And then they'd send them 50 bucks and say, you get whatever you need. Now,

Ryan Dunn:

You, that's a great way of kind of capturing how we can begin to employ some of these, at least in this case, the cryptocurrency technology you've talked about blockchain and how that's a part of it. Can you define for us what blockchain is for the uninitiated?

Mitchell Atencio:

I can certainly do my best. I joked with people who are close to me that one of the hardest parts of this article is I felt like I was trying to describe for people how cars might impact the church, but these were people with no idea of the concept of roads or tires, you know? So you start and you say, well, you know, you might be able to take your car and people go, well, what's the, where are the tires made of? And you say rubber and they go, well, how do they make the rubber you go? That's not important. We don't need to worry about how the rubber's made, just focus on the car. And that's not because people, you know, don't know, it's just, we don't think about the things that we don't use. I don't really know how email works. Right? Like I type out an email and I put in someone's name at.com.

Mitchell Atencio:

What does my computer do with that? How does it get it there? I don't know the answer to these questions. I don't need to know the answer to these questions. And, and sometimes it is that way with this. So blockchains blockchains, again are code internet code, just like, you know, people source coding, a website to make it look pretty to make it look nice. This is similar, but a lot more complicated, the metaphor that people often use, you, you can find it in other articles online. It's not original to me is to think about every transaction on the blockchain, as a receipt, someone writing down, here's a thing that happened. You know, Mitchell sent Ryan X amount of the cryptocurrency. See, they write it down on a receipt and it's gonna go on the blockchain. But what is the blockchain? The first block is the starter block.

Mitchell Atencio:

The Genesis block it's sometimes appropriately called for church context, right? And that is essentially a block filled with a bunch of receipts that, that are transactions that are things that happened on the block chain. That is beginning. And from there, the next block that is created is another set of transactions that have been verified by the source code. So, you know, you sent money to another person. Someone else sent money to someone else. Someone used the system to mine, new money to create new money on the system or, or cryptocurrency on the system. And all of those transactions get verified. They get grouped together that grouping gets verified. So the receipts all get put into another box. And then that box gets tied to the one previously. So what makes blockchains very secure is that everything has to be verified and then it right references back to the verification that was done before.

Mitchell Atencio:

So every time that a new block on the blockchain is created, it references the block before it, which references the block before it, which references the block before it, which have all been verified. So to, so to tamper with a new one to try and go in and, and make it look like a, I actually got, you know, all your cryptocurrency, I would've to go back in tamper with everything else. And it's a very, right now, it's a very complicated process that would take more computing energy than really anyone has for, especially for verified blockchains. Okay. And I don't know how much that helps people. I'll admit the first time that I heard that explanation. And I went, I don't think that helps me at all, but what I would recommend is, you know, if you're interested in better understanding it, spend more time with it. There are videos for beginners. There's a great article from the verge that, that talks about these. And really just does a, a simple question by answer explanation of, of blockchains. And, and then there are even deeper ones. If you want to get into the code and the hash and how these, how these things actually work on the back end, you can watch these long half hour videos like I did to just to try and understand the technology.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Okay. And is it easy to verify? So it sounds like it's tough to tamper with, but then is it fairly easy to verify?

Mitchell Atencio:

It can be, it's gonna depend on, you know, what's being verified, how large of a transaction it is when it's happening. But yes, they're, they're fairly easy to verify at least from person to person, right? So the technology, it could take up to 1530 minutes for me to send you large amounts of cryptocurrency on a blockchain, but I'm gonna know that it's going to you and you're gonna know that you're getting it from me. There's not gonna be any confusion about who it is. And it's not gonna rely on, you know, another institution to verify on our behalfs and say, yes, Mitchell sent the money to Ryan. There are two different ways that verification can be done right now. Technologically there's proof of work, which is a very complicated energy sucking process. It's, it's what people do when they mine it's blocks on the blockchain.

Mitchell Atencio:

It's where you get a lot of really good concern about the environmental impact is because it takes a lot of computing power. You're having the computer essentially do a lot of really complicated math problems to verify the transaction. The second one is, is called proof of stake, which does not use as much computing power. It's essentially a muck process of the proof of work. And what that does is it requires users to take a stake in the verification of the blockchain. So the way that one of my sources explained it to me was if you undermine the system in a, a proof of stake system, undermine your own cryptocurrency, you undermine your own worth in it. No matter what, to get something out of a, a blockchain, you gotta put something in computing power, or you gotta put in your own, you gotta put something up for the, for the system to verify not easy stuff.

Ryan Dunn:

It's not, not, I'm taking down cop's notes about what I need to follow up on, on, on getting the, some of this stuff. It's interesting. I would really love to know, or re note, cuz you made this connection already. How something like blockchain is relevant or why it's going to be relevant for ministry or church world.

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. and that's that, that's really the question at hand, right? That's what everyone listening here I hope is thinking about. I would like to say that it's going to be relevant probably in the same ways that web 2.0 was relevant. Mm. I actually opened the article talking about a 1995 column written by Bob Sabbath, our digital technologist, where he talks about the internet, the future of the church and what might happen. And then if in 1995 you told people that the internet was gonna be a big deal for church. They probably would not have believed that they would've, you know, been like, all right, maybe it'd be a small piece of what we do, but you know, nothing's gonna replace the newspaper. Nothing's gonna replace face to face, enter a actions. And now we can see even just something like this, like a podcast, it, it really does affect the operations of the church.

Mitchell Atencio:

And if people who are into cryptocurrencies and blockchain are right, then this, this is going to just be the groundwork of all our interactions on the internet in future. It's not quite right to think of this as a new tool that we might develop. You know, it's not so much the scooter, which is a new way of getting from point a to point B. It's more like the road it's, it's how we are going to get from place to place. And that's what a lot of these people think the future of internet interactions will be is, is on, on blockchains, social media sites on money. Every I, there there's varying predictions as to how big this is gonna be.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah, yeah. That draws it together for me a bit. So as we, we think about how in years past in using a 2.0 technology, churches really may have been focused on building up their website. And now we're, we're beginning to maybe think about the ways in which we can move beyond that to a, a deeper form of relation through digital means by using some of these more interactive technologies,

Mitchell Atencio:

I would just think about there, there can be upsides and downsides to all of this. And, and that's a really important reason to think about this too, is we don't have to adopt a technology. It's trending that way. It, it sure seems like just nationally and, and across these richer countries, that this is going to be something that is adopted, but the church doesn't have to go along with that. If it doesn't want to. And for those who are more skeptical or feel like this is going to be a negative, those should be conversations that are being had. You know, in my own experience, I grew up in a household that was very skeptical of social media. So I wasn't allowed to have a Facebook for a long time. And one of the pros of Facebook is they make it very easy to create events, to invite everybody who you'd want to invite to that event.

Mitchell Atencio:

Right? You don't have to mail letters. You don't have to remember everyone's email address. You just invite my friend list. You look through your friend list to remember who you want to invite, but I didn't have Facebook. So I, you know, there were times I missed youth group events because I didn't know they were happening. And if the church had been having conversations in, in 2005 or 2008, even about there's Facebook, there's social media, this is a new technology. How are we gonna use it? Who's it going to benefit? Who's it going to leave out? Do people even want to adopt it? Then? You know, those are the types of things that might not have happened. And, and they're, you know, that's a benign example, but there are much bigger examples than that, that you could consider.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah, well a relevant one because a lot of us are still now in this reactive phase of Facebook when Facebook itself has kind of moved post Facebook and moving onto meta. Right? So you know, we're still trying to catch up with the technology that was introduced 10 years ago. This is a chance for us to begin to future envision like a technology that seems pretty imminent. It's coming and related to this blockchain stuff. Is this NFT technology, non fungible tokens. I, I was having a conversation with one of our listeners and he had said, well, I hope not to hear the term NFT for the next 30 days. Well, sorry to disappoint you, bud, because we're gonna talk about NFTs right now. What are non fungal tokens?

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. It resonate with a lot of whatever your friends said, just because if you're on Twitter or even if you're not, you've probably heard more about NFTs than you ever thought you would.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. And, and yet still not quite understanding what they are. So

Mitchell Atencio:

Exactly. And that I think maybe what part of what frustrates people is hearing so much about something that you just don't care about or understand, and it doesn't impact your everyday life. And I, I get that NFT is non fungible tokens, as you said, what are they? So on the blockchain, we've talked about cryptocurrencies, right? We've talked about the ability to send cryptocurrency from one person to another. But when you're sending cryptocurrency, that is just information inside of a non fungible token that has been created. So when you send a cryptocurrency, it's basical an NFT that create contains data of how much cryptocurrency you want to send from one person to another. But that's not what has to be contained in an NFT. Lots of things could, you could have information on a wedding invite, right? You could have information. You could have, people have put, I think an entire books like entire books into the, the data of an NFT and what people are most common with now are people are putting JPEGs.

Mitchell Atencio:

So photo files or, or gifts, right? Moving photo files into the NFT. And what they're selling is the receipt of transaction to people. What they're selling is that so non fungible, meaning it's not gonna be repeatable or repeatable token, meaning the interaction, the, the verified receipt of the thing on the internet, and people say, who cares? You can just write, click and save the JPEG. And now I have the, you do, but in one sense, you do because you have the same internet file that people paid for. But at the end of the day, what they're actually paying for is the verification of it. They're paying to show to other people who use the blockchain, that they are the verified owner of that item. So let's say I did have an NF see as my profile picture, and you had the same one right now, it's, it's rather complicated and not the easiest process in the world to know who's is legit.

Mitchell Atencio:

And who's isn't, but you can, and you could know who actually bought that person's artwork who actually paid the artist for the digital art. And it could be very similar to, you know, you ever walk into somebody's house and you see a real nice painting on their wall. And you think that can't be the original painting or some way they got the Monet. Well, you have to ask them right now to figure out whether that's the case, but when we run into those situations on the internet, that's where blockchains come in handy is the verification of it. Most people are also hearing about them now because they're very hip and cool, and anybody, you know, anybody who's, anybody is getting into it. And just like art has always been, you know, people are probably using it to launder money and all that type of stuff.

Ryan Dunn:

Well, you had mentioned earlier about NFTs in relationship to Bible studies that, you know, in a sense, these, this is gonna become about something more than just verifying original pieces of artwork. Like, what were you envisioning with that? How are NFTs gonna relate to the church?

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. So we talked about somebody who put an entire book onto an NFT, a transaction. After I published this article, I had somebody who is in the blockchain community in world say that they were actually a little bummed. I didn't have the space to write about, or I guess didn't choose to write about the potential for evading censorship. Hmm. And if you had a Bible translation now that you wanted to, into a country that censored that or anything, doesn't have to be the Bible. But since we're talking about the church, you would have to try and get physical copies to people and it would have to go underground. And it would have to be a very physical process because if you put it on the internet, they're gonna shut it down. They're gonna trace where it comes from. We see you, this type of censorship all the time in various places, hypothetically on a blockchain, there's not a person who controls that blockchain.

Mitchell Atencio:

There's not a person who can go and shut it down. So if it gets verified, it's there and it's gonna get verified based on computing power or your proof of stake. Right? So it's not gonna be up to government ended. Entity is to decide whether or not a blockchain is verified. So it might be easier in future for the church to be able to spread the word of God through blockchains now. Hmm. I wanna be very clear that at the end of the day, with all technologies, what this comes down to is what societies will agree upon and who has our and ability to enforce those sorts of things. So, yes, the technology hypothetically does not allow a single entity or person to take something down, but governments have other ways, people with power have other ways of getting in the way of things. So I think it's very common right now for people who are big on blockchain, you can aid censorship and someone to a point to an example of China, you know, banning Bitcoin mining and say, well, you can't really do it.

Mitchell Atencio:

And that's true. That's, that's all true. Just like in 2000 when Napster was introduced and you know, I don't remember the exact year Napster was introduced. People thought it's gonna undermine the entire music industry and here come free music for everybody. And what happened, government got involved. People agreed that it was a bad idea for music to be given away for free. And we found ways to work around what hypothetically the technology should be allowed to do, which would be send songs to whoever you want whenever you want. And, and the same thing could happen with this, but for it to happen, it's gonna be a process because the technology itself doesn't immediately block people. You know, there's not one person who can immediately block and censor things. It's gonna have to be a community development.

Ryan Dunn:

That was incredibly helpful. Mitchell, I've got one more question for you. Sure. And this will relate to topics beyond our direct conversation here, but as somebody who is editing a magazine with its pulse on quite a bit of culture, like, what are you reading these days?

Mitchell Atencio:

One, am I reading these days? That's a good question. You know, one thing that I've been reading a lot is the Substack from a writer and tech ethicist, LM Sicasis. He's actually a source that I talked to for this article. I think he presents a incredibly good way of considering technology in general and by technology. I don't just mean the internet and phones and electronics, but anything that we use as a tool, he has this great line where he talks about how the dinner table is a technology. And what it does is it fosters an environment where everybody is going to come together to eat. When you have a dinner table and you center your room around the table, it signifies that this is one of the most important things that we as a small household community do as we come together and eat.

Mitchell Atencio:

If you have a room and the TV is the center of the room, it signifies the TV is a big part of what you do. And so it kind of gives a new paradigm. I think most people are very familiar with the idea that, oh, technology, it's a tool it can be used for are good or evil, but what he kind of points out is that technologies have their way of shaping communities, of shaping interactions and of shaping individuals. So I've been reading his Substack a lot lately as I consider this and other things.

Ryan Dunn:

Good. That's really helpful. Mitchell, thank you so much for spending this time with us and for sharing this ideation with us, it comes as kind of a, a jarring realization to many of us, but it's necessary for us to begin to think about how these technologies are gonna shape our future experience, both within and, and outside of the church. So I really appreciate you taking the bold step of kind of bringing that into the churchy world, by writing about it for so jerkers.

Mitchell Atencio:

Well, thank you, Ryan. I hope this isn't the last word on it. And again, like I'm a reporter, I'm not making predictions. I'm not telling people whether it's a good idea or a bad idea. I, I hope that people are able to think about this themselves, give their own responses and feedback and make the world and church a better place.

Ryan Dunn:

Cool. And for folks who wanna see a little bit more of your work, where's a good spot to look you up.

Mitchell Atencio:

Yeah. You can go to sojo.net, that's where you can find most of the work I do. A lot of it is editing, not just writing. I, I edit all our news content for online. That's definitely the first place. I'd point people. If you're interested in my ramblings on this and, and football and all those other types of things, you can always find me on Twitter. Just my name at Mitchell. Atendio

Ryan Dunn:

Cool. Mitchell thank you so much.

Mitchell Atencio:

Thanks, Ryan.

Ryan Dunn:

Thanks so much for participating in this session of pastoring in the digital parish. You're gonna want to click over to, sojo.net to take a look at the great work that Mitchell Atencio and team are doing, and we've linked the particular article that drew us into conversation with Mitchell in the show notes for this episode, pastoring in the digital parish is a resource from resourceumc.org, the online destination for leaders throughout the United Methodist church. We're gonna have a new set next week, but in the meantime, if you want to explore more on tech and web ministry, then check out our episode on getting started on Twitch or the episode called building influence on TikTok. This has been fun. My name is Ryan Dunn. If you have a question or suggestion for the podcast, send me an email at [email protected] Thank you. And I'll talk with you soon.

Peace

 

 

 

On this episode

Mitchell Atencio

Mitchell Atencio is the assistant news editor with Sojourners–a magazine that is likely familiar to many of us. Back in November of 2021, Mitchell wrote a really helpful article on Web 3.0 and its implications for the church. The article addressed ideas like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. He loves writing stories of the radical or unique — especially within faith. You can follow Mitchell on Twitter @mitchellatencio.

Ryan Dunn, co-host and producer of the Compass Podcast

Our proctor/host is the Rev. Ryan Dunn, a Minister of Online Engagement for United Methodist Communications. Ryan manages the digital brand presence of Rethink Church, co-hosts and produces the Compass Podcast, manages his personal brand, and obsesses with finding ways to offer new expression of grace.