Worship in times of COVID

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!

Mrs.Anteater

Just keep going....
Messages
4,174
Reaction score
2,047
The planned Drive-In service in my town was cancelled by Public Health (or someone). It was deemed unacceptable as it was a mass gathering. Strange decision as there was one held in Edmonton!
Nova Scotia doesn’t allow people driving around for non essential reasons- I suppose church was just declared non- essential.
On that note, a Friend from Texas, who is a lawyer defending people on death row, told us yesterday that all executions in Texas are also stopped, as they were also considered non-essential.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
45,420
Reaction score
3,609
Nova Scotia doesn’t allow people driving around for non essential reasons- I suppose church was just declared non- essential.
On that note, a Friend from Texas, who is a lawyer defending people on death row, told us yesterday that all executions in Texas are also stopped, as they were also considered non-essential.
Now that's dead on ... although killers need to be restricted somehow! Anger control media? Spiritual intelligence formerly mist!
 

mgagnonlv

Well-Known Member
Messages
197
Reaction score
106
As many are aware, we are one of those parishes that have made extensive use of Zoom. We have lost a certain number of members (guesstimate: 20-25%), but we have people who join with their computer, their tablet or smartphone or even a traditional phone. I think our oldest regular participant is 91! Seeing eachother is great and is almost as good as being present in church. And in some points, Zoom might even be better.

We have run 3 services per Sunday as well as various meetings, and we obviously learned along the way. Zoom (and other similar platforms) tend to automatically cut noises. Unfortunately, this welcome feature (most of the time) also prevents hearing a joyful noise when people sing or even talk at the same time. Here are the lessons we learned:
  • In larger groups, we typically select 4 volunteers for the responses and ask others to keep their microphones off. That way, it still feels like a group answer, but without the unruly noise.
  • For long prayers like the Creed, we tend to cut them in parts so responses are shorter.
  • Hymns were the most difficult to manage. Most people wanted to keep hymns and even hymn singing. We finally settled on having our musician record the accompaniment and sing solo, while we listen – or sing – with microphones off.
  • For coffee hour, we typically divide the group is sub-groups so people chat in groups of 10-12 people at most.
I also find a few benefits of Zoom "meetings" over regular ones:
  • Services are a shorter by about 20 minutes: a bit because we save 10 minutes on Communion, but also because we save on the time for processions and other decorum elements. .
  • It is much easier to attend a service. Not only services are slightly shorter, but I also save commuting time as well as time for lengthy discussions. Overall, and with the shorter services, I save almost 1.5 hours per Sunday.
    Add to that the fact I don't have to freeze or fall on ice outdoors and you see that Zoom services have their benefits!
  • We all "sit" face to face in Zoom. Maybe our members will see the benefits of doing church while sitting in a circle rather than all facing the same way? And even sitting in circle we would only see 50% of the people...
  • Especially in our Francophone groups, we never were able to launch Bible studies or other prayer groups on weekdays because people are too widespread in the city. But even once we get back to in-church services, we could continue weekday activities on Zoom.
  • Finally, we have reached a few former members and even fewer people who are looking for a non-Roman-Catholic church. For these people, having our church (and many others) having services on Zoom is a godsend, and they will be left in the dark once everyone goes back to in-church meetings only.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,633
Reaction score
5,076
We all "sit" face to face in Zoom. Maybe our members will see the benefits of doing church while sitting in a circle rather than all facing the same way? And even sitting in circle we would only see 50% of the people...
Good point! Not that all your others are not - but this one stood out for me. We are such creatures of habit when in familiar circumstances & locations.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,561
Reaction score
14,464
. Maybe our members will see the benefits of doing church while sitting in a circle rather than all facing the same way? And even sitting in circle we would only see 50% of the people...
The UU fellowship in London has been doing its summer services (and some other low attendance Sundays during the year) that way for probably a decade. We started when I was still on worship and I think I led one of the first ones. The problem is that our hall doesn't really lend itself to the larger circle (or concentric circles) that we would need for regular Sundays. And it does not work for every service format, either. These services are what I would call "liturgically light" with a lot of congregational participation.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,633
Reaction score
5,076
At the back of our sanctuary, on the front of the knee-wall of the balcony, we have a series of beautiful backlit stained glass windows of each of the apostles and Mary (fondly referred to as "Mary & the boys"). At one point our minister was looking for sermon series suggestions - so I boldly said "I'd love it if we turned around all the chairs & you preached a series on Mary & the boys" - oh dear - thought the poor fellow might fall down! Never happened.
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,046
Reaction score
3,614
Enjoyed the sermon today from my church. First half is the announcements and the online experiences available to anyone. Daily devotionals with the pastor and his wife, small groups which are interactive, etc...and what days they are available. This church is filled with a multitude of young people but who also appreciate the wisdom of the elders within the church. So if you're looking for something to fill your days while feeling isolated, maybe this could help.
Here's the sermon, 1.) announcements 2.) singing and praise 3.) sermon.
Sermon starts at 38.06

Feel free to join the interactive groups throughout the week to ease the loneliness.
 
Last edited:

EasternOrthodox

Well-Known Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
8
Church services on Zoom. Not as good as in person but not that bad either.

The English-speaking Orthodox Church in America (includes the one I attend) live streamed a number of Easter related services from a monastery in Pennsylvania. Officiated by the Metropolitan with a few monks in attendance. A nice addition.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,561
Reaction score
14,464
I missed it but the UU fellowship did try doing the small group format they use in the summer for a Zoom service. They don't seem to have repeated so maybe it was not a success? Having used that format many times myself, I would think it would work well for something like a Zoom meeting.
 

EasternOrthodox

Well-Known Member
Messages
172
Reaction score
8
I missed it but the UU fellowship did try doing the small group format they use in the summer for a Zoom service. They don't seem to have repeated so maybe it was not a success? Having used that format many times myself, I would think it would work well for something like a Zoom meeting.
I had never used Zoom before. (I’ve been retired for several years). But it’s easy to use. Not as good as in person but better than nothing.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,561
Reaction score
14,464
I had never used Zoom before. (I’ve been retired for several years). But it’s easy to use. Not as good as in person but better than nothing.
We use Microsoft Teams at work, which is basically Skype on steroids. The video conferencing works similar to Zoom and I had no trouble helping my wife learn Zoom for her teaching (no classes, just meeting students one or two at a time about end of semester projects).
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Messages
253
Reaction score
220
We have really slow internet in Deep River, so Zoom or live-streaming were not reliable options for us. We pre-record our services and post them on our Deep River Community Church Facebook page and on You Tube and provide links to You Tube on our website. Services are usually about 30 minutes long (my messages always tend to be a bit short and are shorter for these services. People are enjoying the services and we have people from Canada, the US and the UK who view one or more of the services. The advantage for many in our congregation of the pre-recorded services is that they can watch them when it is most convenient for them. I uploaded my first commentary today on the reading for this Sunday, and hope to add a variety of podcasts over time. I need to go back to using Twitter after avoiding it for about 6 years.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,561
Reaction score
14,464
I gave Wesley-Knox United Church a whirl this morning, the same church I was starting to attend in person before Covid hit. They are doing a pre-recorded service posted to a Youtube channel.

First off, they have a minister in place. It's a supply, rather than a call, but at least they've got one, now. So he is leading the services.

One thing they are doing differently from some other Youtube services I've looked at is that they are going beyond the sanctuary instead of just doing a service in an empty sanctuary. So the service opens with a family in their living room doing the lighting of the Christ candle, then cuts to the minister in the church's chapel to do the Call to Worship, then to the organist and minister in the sanctuary to lead the first hymn, then to a Sunday School room for the children's time, and so on. The anthem was a couple from the church who do bluegrass music (I've heard them before in regular services) in their living room. So it looks like they get the different participants to shoot their part, then someone is editing it. And the editing seems to be fairly well-done, too, so obviously it is someone with some skills and decent editing software. Oh, and they are adding the hymn lyrics and unison readings as subtitles.

Now, they are also using Zoom for other activities. For instance, their adult education program is trying it for a study of the Bart Ehrmann lecture series "How Jesus Became God" (a Great Courses series, BTW, so you may be able to find it for yourself on Kanopy if your library has it) for 6 weeks in May-June. If it goes well, they will then restart it in the Fall.
 
Last edited:

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
7,633
Reaction score
5,076
Sounds good Mendalla :) It has some similarities to the worship at Hillhurst - there were many segments, shot in many locations and well done. John is out on his bike - meets a former staffer & has a chat, drops by to see our former Moderator Bill Phipps and Carolyn Pogue at their front porch to talk about their earth day banner, read some sidewalk chalk messages, wove in messages about the road to Emaus reading (interesting - I learned that Emaus is/was not actually a real place!) ; scripture reading done by somebody at home who was snuggled with her dog, musicians performing from their own spaces, church admin & 'producer' giving the announcements, prayers offered - also the option to post prayer requests in the chat box, etc. I don't think there were kids or families today, but often there have been. I really enjoy the imaginative and creative and faithful approach to worship - not the same every week.
 

Nancy

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,209
Reaction score
1,117
The Roman Catholic churches do a television worship on local t.v. and they go out into the community for parts of it. It is really well done. As for the worship service I led (did two at one time), I got a complaint that they couldn't hear me very well. I sometimes don't lean into the microphone enough...and I prance a little behind the pulpit. Sigh. Now, there will be two services in a row where people struggle to hear. I am disappointed in myself, but...hey...it IS a brand new experience for me. I'm thinking that I won't be invited back for this kind of service.
 
Top