In the Meantime,
It’s time to start planning. Spring is when clergy begin thinking about the next ‘church year.’ Our Music Director, The Worship Associates, and I met this week to begin doing that for our worship ministry. Summer was foremost of course, but the big question – when will we resume in person worship – hovered over all our plans.
Let me state right now that in person worship as it used to be will not happen before September. Yes, the numbers are trending down and vaccinations are going up, but our Covid team has set very high expectations, or rather very low rates of infection, before large groups can meet again.
That said, there are two things worth mentioning. First, is that we will be using the sanctuary for virtual worship more often. The I Help community will be in residence only half of each month, the first half, which means we can use the sanctuary during the second half. You’ve seen me in the space, but as many Worship Associates are now fully vaccinated you will see them in there with me more often. You may also see our Music Director, Katie, and perhaps a second musician. Note I said ‘may’ not will. Everyone who takes part must feel safe in being there.
Secondly, a goodly number of virtual attendees would like us to keep our virtual presence as well. This I heard both from our own people and from comrade clergy at another meeting. This is perhaps the more daunting challenge, because it will be more than broadcasting like a TV ministry. Somehow we need to make those who are virtual as visible as those who are in person, and create a genuine connection where those at home and those at the sanctuary are one community.
Earlier, I said that the future of church life will not be physical and relational. How that works no one knows yet. It will be as profound a change to spiritual communities as the advent of the automobile, and the eventual result will be years in arriving. – FW