It’s one thing to forget to turn off your cell phone during worship and quite another to use it to read e-mail or send text messages during that sacred hour. But in an AOL survey in 20 cities, that’s exactly what some confessed to doing. Those in Atlanta (22 percent) led, with Houston and Denver tied for second (19 percent).
Voting members at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August were warned by Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson to not use their Blackberries or phones to send text messages. “I can see from the way your arm is moving whether you’re sending text messages,” he joked.
In response to a staff blog at The Lutheran's Web site on the subject, Ida Hakkarinen, former ELCA Church Council member, said use of cell phones or texting devices on the assembly floor is prohibited by the rules of procedure. She said the practice deserves a closer look, especially if such devices are being used to strategize.
At a suburban Chicago church where she worshiped prior to the assembly, Hakkarinen witnessed a worshiper reading e-mail on his PDA during the sermon. “One of the most prevalent sins of our modern era is our persistent ‘distractedness,’ ” she said.
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