I had the chance to visit All Souls Anglican Church this week and to (finally!) meet their ‘new’ minister, Rev Bruce Woolley, in person. I was also keen to have a look at their setup for live-streaming services and Bruce and I and their worship leader Gibby spent a happy hour geeking out over the various bits of technology that make the online worship experience possible :)
These technological questions are all the more relevant now as we get ready for when we are able to have regular services in our building again. Last Sunday, about twenty of us got to have an impromptu dry-run, so to speak :) when the rain washed out the outdoor service and we met in the sanctuary instead. It was so good to be back in that space!
In the turmoil of the last year and a half, one of the silver linings has been the way that the church around the world has embraced online worship in its various forms. More than just a necessary complication to salvage an experience of corporate worship, these new approaches have drawn many people into worship who would not otherwise have been able to participate (the especially frail or the house-bound, those working on Sundays, and even others who are curious about the church, but uneasy at the thought of arriving in person).
And, if we are prepared to re-imagine worship, there are corresponding opportunities for service. In the online experience, a house-bound person can be a greeter, or can pray with people after the service. It requires a mental shift, but what happens online is just as much an encounter with God in community as what happens in the building. So, if the possibilities of serving an online community fire up your imagination, let me know and we’ll make sure you’re involved from the word go in some way in this exciting new phase of ministry.