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turned into  a  natural  online  prayer  event  that  was  24/7.  We  were  able  to  share  very   personal  daily  updates  from  Amy’s  mum  and  members  were  able  to  share  prayers,   songs  and  images  that  were  helping  them  in  their  prayer  times  when  they  prayed  for   Amy.  I  tried  to  make  it  clear  that  the  group  was  solely  for  praying  for  Amy.  We  wanted   the  group  to  remain  a  positive  place  whilst  we  prayed  for  a  miracle  and  so  anything   that  was  negative  was  removed.’     The  group  grew  in  size  and  activity  throughout  Amy’s  time  in  intensive  care,  with  posts   varying  from  personal  prayers  for  healing,  Bible  verses,  poetry,  inspirational  songs  and   unique  artwork.  More  than  3,000  contacts,  some  of  whom  had  never  physically  met   Amy,  joined  the  Facebook  group.  Sadly,  however,  on  12  May  2016,  Amy  died  without   regaining  consciousness.     Jude  Marshall  recalled:  ‘I  knew  that  Amy  had  died  before  it  was  made  public   knowledge  on  the  group  and  ironically  someone  who  had  gone  through  his  own  child   dying  posted  a  link  to  a  blog  he  had  written.  The  point  of  his  post  wasn’t  about  death   but  I  removed  it  as  I  was  aware  a  lot  of  members  would  read  the  word  “grief”  and   presume  the  worst  had  happened.  Recently  I  also  removed  a  post  that  was  too   sensitive  particularly  for  [Amy’s  mum]  to  read  as  a  member  was  describing  in  great   illustrative  detail  how  fortunate  she  felt  having  her  daughter’s  arms  around  her  in  an   embrace.  The  post  wasn’t  intended  to  cause  upset,  but  it  was  too  soon…     ‘When  we  had  to  break  the  news  that  the  miracle  we  had  been  praying  for  wasn’t   going  to  happen  there  was  a  very  obvious  shift  of  feeling  within  the  group.  Everyone   remained  positive  when  they  could  and  focused  on  the  absolute  belief  that  we  have   that  Amy  is  in  heaven  but  it  is  still  only  now  sinking  in  to  some  people  that  she’s  really   not  returning  to  us.  It  took  me  a  while  to  bring  myself  to  change  the  name  of  the  group   because  that  involved  me  physically  having  to  delete  Amy’s  name  [the  group  is  now   called  ‘Pray  for  the  Haskew  Family’]  and  that  was  extremely  hard  to  do.  We  also  had  a   number  of  people  ask  for  the  group  to  be  opened  up  to  pray  for  wider  situations.  I  have   had  to  be  really  strict  with  myself  in  insuring  the  group  remains  focused  on  the  family   and  friends  of  Amy  and  Sam  as  they  try  to  move  on  to  some  “normality”  without  Amy.     ‘We  have  absolutely  no  idea  what  impact  being  part  of  the  group  had  on  those   members  but  one  member  shared  with  us  how  she  had  given  her  life  to  Jesus  since   praying  for  Amy  and  seeing  how  the  group  were  able  to  support  each  other  because  of   our  trust  in  Jesus.  For  myself  this  group  worked  particularly  because  it  was  open  across   different  time  zones.  Close  friends  and  family  in  the  UK  were  not  sleeping  well  whilst   we  waited  for  Amy  to  recover  and  so  were  able  to  open  Facebook  and  see  a  new  post   every  time  and  know  they  weren’t  alone  in  being  awake  and  thinking  of  Amy.     5.8  Effect  of  social  media  on  offline  relationships     Jude  Marshall  continues:  ‘From  the  beginning  the  [Haskew]  family  were  aware  of  the   group  and  often  read  posts  aloud  to  Amy  and  played  the  songs  that  had  been  posted.   During  one  Sunday  prayer  time  [they]  were  able  to  use  the  hospital  chapel  to  pray  with  

Putting Your  Faith  in  Social  Media  

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Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...

Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...