The TryTank Announces First Success with the Episcopal Prayer Alexa Skill

Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary
Posted Mar 20, 2019

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and the General Theological Seminary (GTS) announces today the first “success” with the TryTank Experimental Lab: the Alexa Skill Episcopal Prayer app.

A historic joint project between the two seminaries, the TryTank initiative works to help identify creative ways to equip future leaders to reinvigorate the church. The Episcopal Prayer Alexa Skill (which can be downloaded here for those with an Alexa) will greet and then guide participants through the prayer for the day once it is downloaded and activated with the greeting, “Alexa, open Episcopal Prayer.”

Research proves that people who engage with scripture regularly (at least four times a week) are happier, more generous, and even more civic-minded citizens.

“We hope that it also translates into more church attendance,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. at VTS, regarding the theory behind the Alexa Skill. “And it is pretty cool that the Episcopal Church can claim a place in this high-tech landscape.”

The TryTank, lead by the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, currently has 16 experiments in different stages, including a total of 4 in active mode, meaning that they are operating, and they are gathering data to gauge the success or failure of the individual experiment. With all the announced experiments, they anticipate working with some 180 congregations across the country.

You can see the full list of experiments on the TryTank website, and you can see where they are on any of them each week by subscribing to their newsletter on the same site. Every Monday you’ll get an insider’s view of their work.