When it comes to being in tune with social media, Bruce Reyes-Chow is on top of things.
The moderator of the 218th General Assembly is active on Facebook and Twitter. Mission Bay Community Church, where he is pastor, has an engaging Web site, complete with a group blog. Reyes-Chow also has several blogs of his own — one for general posts, one for moderator-related posts and a new one through the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
The latter, which Reyes-Chow started posting to on March 26, is part City Brights, a group blogging initiative on the Chronicle’s Web Site. The 21 bloggers are “public figures, the recognized experts in their fields (from science to the arts) and the local notables that make the Bay Area what it is,” according to the Web site. They encompass a wide variety of careers, including a talk show host, a ballet master and a political comedian.
Reyes-Chow is the only participant blogging as a pastor — and that’s what drew him to the project.
“I just couldn’t resist because the mainstream religious voice is nowhere to be found in San Francisco media,” he said, adding that although he acknowledges his role as moderator in the biography that goes with his blog, he is writing as himself and is not speaking on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Reyes-Chow hopes to put forth a decidedly Christian voice that doesn’t identify with extremist positions. And that’s important in a town like San Francisco, where Christians and the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) community have often clashed.
“The diversity of spiritual traditions that we have here is just amazing,” he said. “We have to figure out a way for the Christian voice to express itself in San Francisco. How do you be Christian in a place that has some negative stereotypes about what it means to be Christian?”
Reyes-Chow plans to post about twice a week, with one post addressing theological perspectives and another focusing on local or personal topics.
In a recent post, Reyes-Chow asked readers what topics they’d like him to write about, such as local issues, social justice concerns or basic Christian beliefs. Although he has his own ideas for posts, he wants to be responsive to readers and honor the natural inclination to question and search.