We began the Season of Advent this past Sunday, November 29, with decorations up in the sanctuary and the lighting of the first candle on the Advent wreath. Throughout the weekly newsletters you will find several ways in which we will observe each week of Advent together even as we are apart! I commend them all to you.
With the beginning of December, we are also deep into the season of the year when you are asked to consider your financial support for the mission and ministry of our congregation for the coming year. Each week’s newsletter will feature an article or story about some part of our congregational life and the ways in which your financial commitment supports it. This week, we start with Worship.
At the start of 2020, our worship life was a vibrant time each Sunday morning to gather in our sanctuary, to sing hymns, to pray, to share communion. But, in March, all of that changed! Our worship life went online – first as a few prayers offered on Facebook, then as a haltingly recorded Zoom service offered on our website, and finally as a service recorded and broadcast using the MEVO camera and software system.
Fortunately, in May, we were blessed to have Austin Bradley join our worship team as Music Coordinator. Austin has brought to our worship experience an amazing level of professional musicianship that shines through even the glitchiest recording. Austin’s music touches our hearts and lifts our spirits, even as we worship online. His leadership has brought together all of the musicians in our congregation so they can feel confident offering their gifts in these strange and uncertain times.
Bringing worship to us in these strange and uncertain times has meant learning new technology and purchasing new equipment. The MEVO camera system ($750) was purchased in May. The Vimeo subscription to support our broadcast was purchased at the same time ($250). As we got better at online broadcasts, we realized we needed professional lighting ($375). Early on in the pandemic, JR Barden became our primary production coordinator, and Jack Smith joined him late in the summer. Each of them dedicate hours each week to the task of bringing worship to life online. This method of online worship is now permanently with us; even once we are able to gather in the sanctuary, we will continue our online presence.
Jesus said, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” Please consider how your financial commitment can continue to support our worship life – during this pandemic and beyond!