As we began to gather virtually during the summer, we recognized that gathering “live online” was great for the interaction and feeling connected, in the “I’ve been to church” feeling. But we also recognized that for some of our members, it would be beneficial to be able to view the services as their time, computer, and streaming allowed them to do that… so a little over a month after we started our online services, we started posting our services to YouTube.
We have enjoyed our Morning Prayer with hearing and seeing different readers, which has been part of our continued connection. We have kept our same format but have started to record and post them a few hours later. This has been great for those who were traveling or otherwise not able to join us live.
Over the last several years, we have discussed and participated in “Faithful Innovations” but it can certainly be said that this season has encouraged us to innovate faithfully in how we fill the spiritual needs of our community. We have leaned into our faith, used our gifts, and have been braver with innovation, faster than we might have otherwise.
Several months into our online services, we began talking about what it could look like to integrate online services with our in-person service once we are able to fully return in-person. We don’t have all the answers but we anticipate getting the opportunity to implement some of our ideas as we continue through the pandemic. At this point, we have blessed to receive grant funds to purchase technology components that will help us in these endeavors. Each week we learn something new about the online environment – and if you catch any of our recorded services, you will see that we leave any of those errors or slips that happen in there, as that is part of the learning process.
As we continue to learn about our online technology, we are also embracing the exploration of our faith with the new constraints. We miss Eucharist but find that different aspects of the weekly service fill us spiritually. While we crave to be together to pass the peace and share the common cup, we know that this season where it isn’t safe to do that is still an important part of our spiritual development as a community. We know that we will once again do these things and we will have a newfound appreciation for each unique aspect of our liturgy.
If you haven’t yet found us on YouTube, find us here: St Johns of Bedford Indiana
We hope to see you (at least virtually) soon!