Today instead of heading to the church office, I caught a train into the city to attend the bi-annual IT Forum, run by Sydney Diocesan Services for parishes and larger Anglican organisations.

We started out in prayer followed by a 15 minute focus on the Bible, led by bishop Ivan Lee. He pointed us to Genesis 11 which talks about the tower of Babel. Ivan demonstrated how this was the initial procurement of technology in the brick, and the building of cities and how it in and of themselves were not bad things. Rather the way in which man were using them to honor themselves and try to be on the same level as God was the error and thus causing Him to come down and scatter them. Ivan then went on with some biblical theology, taking us to both Acts and Revelation to see this idea of many tongues at Pentecost and the final one tongue with which all will worship God at the end, which he claims will be Chinese.

Next session was a word from the IT Manager of Anglicare who spoke to us about working in a Christian organisation and how that should be different; how we need to be living one Christian life which encompasses all that we do, rather than two lives that juggle things in the middle. One thing that was was said was that “we need to keep one eye on the desk, and one eye on each other.” which pretty much meant that whilst we do the work we are there to do, half of it is about relationship.

We then split up into 2 groups: parishes, and organisations to hear about more specific and related things. In our session we talked through the concept of a web portal for parishes and what that would look like and require and then a little bit about PAM: a records management database for parishes.

After lunch we came back together to hear from Dell about Desktop Virtualisation. It was probably a bit involved and complex for parishes, especially considering the cost involved, and the level of technical knowledge required.

Final session of the day was Rob from Anglican Retirement Villages speaking on their tender process for a new telephony service provider and how they went about measuring what they were paying for and finding the best service for good service that suited them.

The IT Forum runs twice a year for parishes and Christian organisations. They are looking to expand to have more parishes come along. If your parish has an IT or admin person that you think would benefit from the things I’ve written about or even just fellowship with some technically minded, drop me a line and I can pass your details onto the SDS team for an invite.