Last week I invited you to start opening your heart to the possibility that we will be able come home again to ministry and worship in our building around September 26. Today I want to begin to unfold for you more of what a relaunch of our ministry is going to look like in our post-pandemic church.
You may be curious or even confused by terms you have heard tossed around regarding how worship will be delivered when we return to the sanctuary September 26. Our worship will now be a hybrid worship experience, meaning that it will both be in person in the sanctuary while simultaneously being live for people online. (We have talked about this as a two-campus ministry as well.)
If you come to worship in the sanctuary (our main campus), you will be able to have an experience of worship that is fairly familiar. There will be some changes because nothing is the same after we have lived through this lengthy global pandemic, still raging across our planet. But much of what you will experience will have familiarity. More details will be communicated as we get closer to our Coming Home Again season and can speak with greater clarity about masks, social distancing, order of worship, singing, etc.
When we relaunch our worship ministry during the Coming Home Again season, you are going to experience some changes to how online worship is delivered (our second campus). On those Sundays when you are out of town, not feeling well, or have challenges with the worship time, you will have two wonderful options for online worship.
Livestream Worship will happen at 10 a.m. on Sunday. This means that you will be able to gather at the same time with your friends in faith in the sanctuary for a live experience of worship delivered on our second, online campus. We plan to make this an interactive online experience, inviting you to chat with one another in an online chat feature (typing your comments) and to offer your prayers to be shared during the live worship experience. Barring any unforeseen technology challenges, Livestream Worship will happen every Sunday at 10 a.m. starting on September 26.
Recorded Worship will be similar to what we have had for the last 16 months, but available on our online campus sometime after the Sunday morning worship experience. Recorded Worship will allow you to worship at a time of your choosing from your home, your cabin, or wherever you find yourself.
There are two differences to Recorded Worship after September 26 from what you experience now. First, we will record our live worship experience in the sanctuary, so it will have a less “produced” quality than you are used to, and, instead, have a greater feel of authenticity. Second, because it is a recording of the live worship experience, it will no longer be available on Saturday evenings. However, Recorded Worship will be available online for some time after it is posted so you can “catch up” if you miss a worship experience.
The hybrid worship experience we are planning to provide is both a response to what we learned during the pandemic and something we have known all along. People are connecting online in ways the church can leverage for the purpose of drawing people to Jesus. Our new hybrid worship experiences will be one way we use technology and our second, online campus to share Jesus, to make disciples and to grow in our faith.
I continue to pray, as I hope you do, the prayer of the Holy Spirit we have been praying since Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Breathe Your life into us. I believe God is doing just that – breathing life into the relaunch of our ministries. Please continue to pray for God’s Spirit to move in us, for us to follow where the Spirit is leading, and continue to journey with me as God reveals step by step the ministry to which we have been called.
Pastor Becky Jo