Over 5000 people log on for the first ever Methodist online sermon

In the first century, God-seekers had to travel across the knownworld to gather in Jerusalem and celebrate the festival ofPentecost. Last Sunday they merely had to log-on.

In his Pentecost Day sermon, Revd Jonathan Kerry, Co-ordinatingSecretary for Worship and Learning, chose to deliver his sermon incyber space, in the online Church of Fools - and over 5000logged-on to listen.

Mr Kerry said: "It was very appropriate to celebrate Pentecostin a web-based Church, because the Christian Pentecost is afestival of communication: it celebrates God's gift ofcommunication and God's mission to communicate"

He continued: "In the Church of Fools we can begin to share ourfaith with an international audience in ways that are perhaps asastonishing as the experience of those apostles and crowds in thefirst century. For them as for us, the challenge was to seize theopportunity of an audience curious to hear what God has to say, andto learn what motivates the followers of Jesus."

It was not, however, the marvel of technology that wascelebrated. As Mr Kerry noted in his sermon: "For the firstapostles, and still for us, the message is the Gospel of God - thecreator of all, who offers us unconditional, self-giving love andeternal life through Jesus his Son.

And the same Spirit of God, poured out at the first ChristianPentecost, gives this Church, and each of us, the mission tocommunicate that message in cyber-space and in the world of fleshand blood."

The Methodist Church is primary sponsor of the Church of Fools,a three-month experiment in online church launched by www.shipoffools.com.