Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
—Isaiah 43:19 (RSV)
I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you already, but early on in our pandemic lockdown, I received a cartoon from a colleague that perfectly captures the circumstances in which clergy find themselves these days. The picture is a classic old Star Trek image with Dr. McCoy standing next to Captain Kirk. The caption reads, “Dammit Jim, I’m a pastor, not a videographer!” If you’re not an old “Trekkie,” that may not mean anything to you. But I am, and I laugh about that cartoon every time it comes to mind, which it does whenever something goes haywire with one of the newfangled broadcasts we’ve been forced to embrace lately.
Just yesterday, on my Morning Watch episode, about two-thirds of the way through, I invited everyone to pray with me, closed my eyes and offered our morning prayers. When I opened them again a few minutes later, I was greeted by a message saying that my broadcast had failed. I have no idea what happened. It was like being “It” in a game of hide and seek. Close your eyes, count to 100, and all your friends have run off to hide.
I’m aware that our Sunday morning broadcasts have been glitchy as well. Between freezing screens, temperamental mics and cameras that cycle from light to dark to light again, the experience hasn’t been up to our normal standards. So, beginning this Sunday, we’re going to try something a little different. Adam and Lauren will continue their hymn sing on Facebook Live as usual, but when they are done, you will be directed to a pre-recorded worship service. I’ll be recording the service on Saturday with Barbara, then uploading it to Vimeo on our church’s webpage. Not to worry. You will be able to get there directly from Facebook, and Adam will have instructions for you at the end of the hymn sing.
What we will lose is the ability to have you directly comment or send up hearts while my service is in progress. But what we will gain is a higher quality and more dependable broadcast. I know several pastors who have been gravitating away from Facebook Live for the same reasons we are. Simply not dependable. We are working on ways to bring back the interactive part of it. Perhaps some kind of a virtual Fellowship Time. We’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you have prayer requests for Barbara, please either call the church during the week or email her no later than Friday. I hope this new approach will give us a better worship experience and, as always, I welcome your feedback.
Yours in Grace,