Without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, an online community can never thrive as easily as a local community. However, with the Holy Spirit and specific behaviors that enhance digital communities, much progress can be made in deepening relationships and facilitating spiritual growth. The key challenge is one of discipline. Local communities also thrive with discipline but online communities require much more discipline to be fruitful. Accordingly, the Apostoli Cenacle proposes the following guidelines:
- Photos: Photos humanize an otherwise impersonal environment. In order to minimize that feeling that some faceless entity is watching us, photos must be uploaded before visitors will be invited to participate online conversations.
- Communication Approach:
- Be Brief and Patient: Please use short sentences and be patient both with what you want to say and with those who are trying to communicate with you. Long paragraphs always diminish and discourage communication. Digital communication takes far more patience and care because of the absence of physical cues which normally make up the majority of human interaction.
- Avoid All CAPS: Think of the Cenacle in the way you would a quiet and peaceful monastery filled with people you love and who love you. Capital letters in social media communications are equivalent to screaming. Yelling is not allowed in the Cenacle. 🙂
- Charitable Assumption: We must assume that if something is said that is wounding to us, that the person who said it would have never said either what they said or said it the way the did if they knew it would be hurtful us.
- Emoticons: To the degree you know how to use them, please do. They often communicate a smile or some positive emotion which otherwise might not have been assumed by your text.
- Discerning Out of the Cenacle: All who discern that God is not calling them to participate in Apostoli Viae should continue to receive love and care from all AV members. This discernment is never a rejection of either party but a greater clarity about God’s calling. In this clarity we rejoice with one another. Even so this discernment is a detachment from AV and thus profiles will be removed from the Cenacle. The easiest way to think about this is if you were to discern with a particular monastery for while but decide it is not for you, you wouldn’t stay in the monastery. Instead you would continue to search for God’s will elsewhere. Be assured you will have our love and prayers in your search!
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