374: A Special Conversation With — You! (Check Out Our Video Invitation)

Welcome to Lent!

    YES, we do understand that many of our readers are not Christian. But today, on the Our Lent landing page, we’re starting another of our special online, interactive experiences produced for the millions of people whose lives are shaped by spiritual seasons. Just as we devoted special series to the Jewish High Holidays and Ramadan (just to mention two other examples) — it’s now Lent, starting today.
    That’s the spiritual season for 1-to-2 billion people around the world!
    You may have visited the “Our Lent” section of our Web site in the past couple of weeks, where we’ve had some inspirational pre-Lent articles about fasting, regular prayer and reading scriptures.
     You may have signed up for our daily inspirational experiment through Twitter — which is very spiritually diverse in the uplifting messages we’re sending to readers.

TODAY, we’ve got one more surprise to unveil!
    We want you — you and your friends or perhaps a group in your congregation — to get involved in talking to the world in a simple, spiritual way.
    Research by Dr. Wayne Baker, host of the OurValues.org section of our online magazine, shows that Americans are overwhelmingly religious — and, at the same time, we have a huge desire to express ourselves. That’s what sometimes drives our religious leaders nuts. We simply make a lot of our own spiritual choices, don’t we? And we want to tell people about these close-to-the-heart parts of our lives.
    But most of us don’t. We’re shy. We can’t find the words.

    WELL, today, we’re inviting you to take up whatever simple video camera you own and try an experiment with us. Some of our cell phones, these days, capture pretty fair video. Most newer digital cameras shoot video clips, as well.
    Or you can purchase the kind of equipment we picked for this experiment: a Flip Mino. This camera is smaller than an I-Phone, shoots an hour of good video and is designed to easily connect you to YouTube.
    Here at ReadTheSpirit, we also have shot video on our broadcast-quality equipment, but the whole point of this new idea is that anyone can do it — with even the simplest equipment. (If you’re intrigued by the Flip Mino, there’s a link at right to purchase one.)


    The vast majority of Americans own at least one Bible. The vast majority of us tell pollsters that we read the Bible. This is a perfect, easy opportunity for you, your friends or your congregation to share some close-to-the-heart spiritual words with the world.
    At the end of today’s Our Lent story, you’ll find the first “ReadTheBibleToMe” video that we uploaded to YouTube. You’ll find one a day — always short and always with a different person reading. In Lent alone, you’ll meet 40 ordinary people reading a few words from a book they love.
    We deliberately produced these clips in the quickest, cheapest, easiest method possible. The first four Lenten videos this week were produced in 45 minutes on a Flip Mino camera by the high-school-aged filmmakers in the Divine Light Media project — an award-winning documentary-film project at the First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

BUT, What About Our Pledge
To Welcome Religious Diversity?

    Think about  this.
    This idea is truly viral. It’s so simple. Produce your video clips in a similar style:
    The reader says her name and her hometown. She identifies the passage she’s about to read. She reads and then she’s done. In editing the clip on simple computer software, you add a basic title screen that says “Read The Bible To Me” and “Psalm 90: 1-10” (or whatever the passage may be).
    When you upload it to YouTube — make the first word in the title “ReadTheBibleToMe.”
    Over time — virally — this idea can spread all sorts of places. A simple search of YouTube for “ReadTheBibleToMe” will call up a neat index of all the clips people are producing.
    AND — over time, stay tuned — because we will encourage “ReadTheQuranToMe” and “ReadTheVedasToMe.”
    On and on.
    All you have to do is: Talk to each other. Or, actually, just read a book you love to each other.

    Take a look. You’ll find the first one — very simple, very sincere — at the end of today’s Our Lent story.

PLEASE, Tell Us What You Think.
    This is a good time to sign up for our Monday-morning ReadTheSpirit Planner by Emailit’s
free and you can cancel it any time you’d like to do so. The Planner
goes out each week to readers who want more of an “inside track” on
what we’re seeing on the horizon, plus it’s got a popular “holidays”

    Not only do we welcome your notes, ideas, suggestions and personal
reflections—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Facebook, Digg, Amazon, GoodReads and some of
the other social-networking sites as well, if you’re part of those
    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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