The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Cell phone sins

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.


Eugene H Moore

Eugene H Moore

Posted at 2:23 pm (U.S. Eastern) 10/9/2007

Not only distractedness, but also dangerous. People, while talking or "texting" and walking or driving are causing numerous accidents. They also do not hear what their traveling companions are saying (and the companions are very often on their cell phones. I have observed three people in conversation with each other and on their respective cell phones at the same time. Does anyone of them know what they are talking about?

p.s. Am I a robot or a real person???

John C.

John C.

Posted at 10:17 am (U.S. Eastern) 10/11/2007

The statement by Hakkarinen at the end of the article really hit me.  "One of the most prevalent sins of our modern era is our persistent distractedness."  This is so true today.  I see it at work, at home, and unfortunately, even within myself.  Technology and demands or desires for increased production or efficiency within the workplace or our personal lives have made it difficult to stay focused on the issues or relationships that really matter.



Posted at 9:13 am (U.S. Eastern) 10/12/2007

I think that text messaging in church is rude and void of any manners.

It ranks up there with eating and drinking coffee during the service.

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