You may be wondering how the emergency closures affect the day-to-day operations of the church. Justine and I are still working the same number of hours, but from our homes. (The coffee and the co-workers here at home are both excellent, so I’m good!) You can reach us via email or mobile phone. We are grateful that our Council has made this decision to protect our health, and the health of people we could come in contact with. Ralph is keeping a watchful eye over the new furnace via his cameras, fine tuning it so that we can enjoy it with confidence next autumn. This has him in the building occasionally, so he and the rest of the CoA are keeping a watchful eye over the property. The work of this church continues!
Which leads us again to technology. As I wrote on Monday, the response to last week’s pre-recorded service has given confidence to press ahead. However, the mandated government closures made this task much more difficult; specifically, every single component of the service now has to be done individually, remotely. We have the technology to do this, of course, but we are all on a steep learning curve as we try to use technology properly and efficiently. Please pray for the team that is working extra hours to put together a service for us to worship together on Sunday; please pray for those who are utilizing technology for the first time to add their voice from home; please pray that God will bring together on Sunday a community of people to worship him IN UNITY, each from our own home.
If you want to hear what’s possible using technology, you must listen to this song (if you can’t access it, get someone to play it for you!) which Pearl shared from Ten Two Six Music Group and arranger David Wise in Nashville, all done on cellphones during this shut-in: https://youtu.be/nDIJz6zzHNU. Wow!
Today some of us participated in a virtual Lord’s Supper service. We were instructed ahead of time to have bread and wine available. We were led in sharing the bread and wine together, live with the presiders, along with Christians from 120 nations over Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. You may say, wasn’t this already possible over TV? The difference now is that the worship is interactive, bringing in worshippers communicating around the world in real time. This opens up all sorts of possibilities. And it is affordable.
People of God, pay attention to what is happening. God is using this present situation to do something new in his church. The combination of technology and physical distancing is forcing every local church, from small to large, to learn to use technology in new ways to reach people. God’s church is now, completely, outside the walls of our church buildings. What the church will look like after this pandemic, only God knows, but we are already seeing signs that the church will be globally connected in ways previously unimaginable.
Today’s Scripture from Psalm 19:1-4 was suggested by Jane, which fits in perfectly with these thoughts:
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims God's handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
I know you have been anxiously awaiting the results of last week’s technology survey … We had 38 responses—thanks! Here are some of the findings. Of these 38 responses,
So what about you? Are you willing to take some time to learn to better use technology so you can participate? On a very practical level, right now, this church needs individuals willing to join together in unity and participate in the worship experiences that we offer, and help us improve. If this at first feels uncomfortable, you are not alone. Again, right now, this church needs people who can offer up digital worship components (spoken word, songs, prayers), created at home on your computers or mobile phones. If you don’t know how to do this, you are not alone! Are you willing to learn? Conversely, do you need help to get to the next step with technology? Please ask!
Enough talk, we need to pray!
In closing, let’s pray together as our Lord taught us to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Go today with God’s blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.