‘Tweeting with GOD’ (#TwGOD) has its origin in Leiden in the Netherlands, where Father Michel Remery engaged in dialogue with young people about their questions concerning the Catholic faith. They asked their questions in person after liturgical celebrations, but also via Twitter, Facebook and other new media. During evening sessions, these young people discussed their questions amongst themselves and with their priest. All questions were welcome and no topic was taboo.
These young people were looking for the meaning of faith in their own lives. Why should I believe in God? Is it logical to believe? The meetings helped them to recognise the importance of the faith in their personal lives. They urged their priest to publish the results in two books entitled ‘Tweeting with GOD’. These separate books were later combined into a single volume. The young people then suggested making the project interactive, playing a major role in this phase as well. The project quickly attracted major international interest, which led to translations of the books into many languages.
#TwGOD is aimed at demonstrating the logic of the faith and showing how everything is connected to God’s love for every individual human being. #TwGOD demonstrates the logic of the faith by answering specific questions. In doing so, we always refer to the ‘big picture’ and to God’s love for you. #TwGOD wants to encourage you to find out who Jesus can be for you. We want to invite you to pray, to keep learning more about the faith, and to visit a local Catholic parish or community.
The ‘Tweeting with GOD’ project wants to help (young) people find answers to their questions about the Catholic faith by closely integrating printed books with new media. The project also includes an app which links the texts in the book to information on the #TwGOD website.
The #TwGOD book offers support to people who want to grow in their faith and their relationship with Jesus. It gives you a basic understanding of faith in God, based on what the Bible and the Church say about these matters. The book and the online tools can be used by a wide range of target groups, including:
- Anyone who wishes to deepen his or her knowledge of the faith. People of all ages, young and old, have indicated that they were very much helped by the #TwGOD project. #TwGOD is well suited to support an individual process of deepening the faith, precisely because of the combination of the book, the app, the website and social media. It provides everything a person needs to be able to pray at home, to learn about and reflect on the faith.
- Anyone who needs to explain their faith. Sometimes you may be asked a question about your faith which you cannot answer. You can change that: read #TwGOD and you will be well prepared to continue the conversation at a subsequent meeting. #TwGOD is also a wonderful gift to conclude a good conversation about faith.
- High school students. The book and the online material can form the basis of one or multiple modules of simple and accessible religious education in secondary schools. These can be either Catholic schools, religious schools of other denominations, or public schools. Schools that wish to affirm their Catholic identity could give the book as a gift to all students, so that they could read or browse through the book at home.
- Confirmation candidates. #TwGOD is very suitable for use during new or existing confirmation courses because it contains all the information about the faith that you would like confirmation candidates to know. The #TwGOD book is also a great gift to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation.
- Anyone who works with young people. #TwGOD is well-suited for use as a reference for those working with young people, either on an individual basis or in groups. Group leaders can use #TwGOD to prepare answers to possible questions.
- Youth groups and teen groups. The #TwGOD project is ideally suited to provide material for discussion evenings, and has already been used in several settings with great success. For example, an evening session could start with a meal, followed by discussion and prayer.
- Ongoing catechesis in parishes. The #TwGOD book is well-suited to be used as a basis for ongoing catechesis in parishes, both for young people and adults. Participants can undertake further study at home by accessing the website and other online #TwGOD resources.
- Further study after an introductory course about the faith. The ‘Tweeting with GOD’ project is an important tool for anyone who wishes to know more about different aspects of the faith. It is ideally suited for self-study by both young and old.
- Parents and godparents of candidates for Baptism, First Communion or Confirmation. #TwGOD can provide more information about many different aspects of the faith to both parents and godparents. The book can also be read at home, together with older children.
- Parents of growing children. Children are known to ask questions about anything, including God and faith. #TwGOD can help parents prepare good answers to these questions.
#TwGOD and the relationship with others
Tweeting is in itself a social activity, because you share something with (potential) readers. One important aspect of #TwGOD is that it is not aimed at passing on dry, theoretical information. The goal is to help people grow in their relationship with God, to literally start ‘Tweeting with GOD’ in prayer. Hopefully, encounters with other people who read the book or online material will help. Online, we invite people to become involved by ‘liking’ what they see and through interactions on social media. Even more importantly, #TwGOD encourages people to visit their local parish, to become more active in their communities, and to care for the people around them.