The ever-increasing speed and reach of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are often lauded for the beneficial social effects we are told they have. This raises questions about the connection between knowledge and social relationships, especially concerning meaningful relationships in a world where people are increasingly represented as data. To answer this question, one approach is to consider the role of documents in communicating “meaningful” content in pursuit of understanding. Because this is difficult to articulate, this paper takes the approach of using metaphors—specifically of the document as a bridge, a window, a painting, a briefcase, and a mirror—to consider the possibilities for documents to aid or impede relationships. To provide something concrete upon which to reflect, this paper applies the metaphors to documents that are explicitly tied to meaning about individuals: those created by the United Church of Canada as part of its process of reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people. Thinking about the church’s documents through the lens of metaphors is an initial conceptual step in thinking about the meaning in these documents. Through the metaphors, we gain important insights into the extent to which documents connect individuals as they are called to in the ICT environment.

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