As part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, our worship services have now transitioned into online offerings, localized on Facebook and YouTube. We have been learning along the way, with several ‘growing pains’, but ultimately our ‘virtual worship’ has been a wonderful tool to stay connected and maintain our experiential worship together. I had done some video editing in college and vocations, so I had some knowledge of how to create these projects, but there has definitely been a lot of ‘learning on the fly’ and trial-and-error. I am grateful for all of the positive comments that have been coming in, as it seems like our daily videos are bringing elements of peace and normalcy into these anxious and uncertain times. Even our own Bishop Susan was so impressed by our live-stream services that she requested we make a tutorial to share with other churches in the diocese who may need help establishing the infrastructure.
What I’ve learned in all this worship transition is that we can indeed stay together and connected. We can still lift each other up in prayer and support one another. We can still sing, read, listen, and think; our fundamentals of worship haven’t changed. What has changed, and what we are all missing, is the physical connection to one another: the energy of communal worship; the hugs, handshakes, and high-fives; and the love we show and feel from our togetherness. While we do have these holes in our hearts, we can still be the church in the world, and maintain our faith that God will be there in the storm. As we continue our discipleship, remember these words from one of our most beloved hymns:
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.