The Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (OCCJ), a non-partisan organization committed to educating people and speaking out on issues of intolerance, hate, bullying, bigotry and violence, presented its annual Teen Trialogue series in four thematically organized sessions. This annual series, which began in 1983, is an effort to encourage interaction and dialogue among Christians, Jews, Muslims and often persons of other faith traditions It provides an opportunity for students from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith traditions to discuss and learn about their own faith traditions while exploring others. The sessions were held Wednesdays in January and February at the Peace Academy, Boston Avenue Methodist, and Temple Israel. A group from St. John’s Youth Group attended along with about 100 youth from various faith traditions and churches. Each participant was asked to identify themselves as Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Other and then divide into discussion groups making sure there was a mixture of all faith traditions in each group.
This year the theme was: “Technology: Faithful Friend or Foe? The students were asked to reflect on this issue as it related to their lives, their values and their faith traditions. The discussions encompassed questions about the use of technology in church services, the impact of technology on our lives and our faith, how does technology help us address needs of others, how does technology hurt others and how can we use technology to reach out to non-believers. The students and sponsors were asked to measure how much time they spend using technology (their technology profile) and how their personal profile agrees or does not agree with the teachings of our faith.
To more accurately measure screen time, the students and sponsors were asked to download an app, called Moment, which tracks phone usage and to map out the time spent on various activities. It is eye-opening. Take a “moment” and download the App, then chart your screen time and see where you spend your time and whether those activities align with your values and the teachings of our faith.
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