Today was a milestone day for me. I believe today was the last day I had to “film” worship without you. I completed our holy week services yesterday and filmed the Palm Sunday service (twice: Bridge and Traditional) today. Next Sunday I am so looking forward to doing worship with you in person! And in the weeks that follow, our plan is to in person worship, outside, until it is possible to bring worship safely inside. (Pray that our numbers continue to decline!)
I don’t mind telling you this has been a long haul. I know many of you deeply miss in person worship, and I want to tell you I do as well. It’s not easy to cart piles of equipment to the sanctuary, set everything up, test the lights, the sound, the framing of the video only to film to an empty room! I could imagine you sitting in the pews in the beginning but that memory has faded over time and it has become more difficult in so many ways. Perhaps even more challenging has been the filming of the Bridge at home. I would look at the little dot of my camera and say the names of the Bridge members as I began to lead worship, but it’s just not the same. I am deeply grateful that it appears this chapter in our life together as a congregation is coming to a close.
There are, of course, new challenges of which I want you to be aware. This is not as simple as going back to life as we knew it. There are still precautions to take. We have young families and young people among us who are not vaccinated. Many of them were adamant when we closed down originally that we were making the right decision for our older members. These young people insisted we take action to protect our senior members. They were all for it. Now the population at risk is our younger people and I hope you join me in being just as adamant that we protect them while they wait their turn for vaccination.
There are also many technical challenges. We have bought new sound equipment so everyone can hear well when we are outside. We are also trying to figure out how to stream so we can continue to offer our services to people who are not comfortable coming out yet and also for people who have connected to our church from places far away. I keep learning of people in other communities who are watching our services. What a great thing to be able to provide worship for those at a distance!
We will, of course, figure it all out. It just may take a little time to get up to speed the way we want to. I know you will be patient as you have been this entire year. I love this passage from Isaiah. I think it captures how I feel today – hopeful!
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Is. 43: 18-19
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