Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “It takes a village.” Historically Andrew Chapel operates as a beautiful village that comes together for all kinds of reasons. But perhaps you are not aware of the exceptional village that has been called to action to produce our online worship service.
In early 2020, our congregation was already moving toward hosting an online worship service. But when the pandemic abruptly changed the way churches worldwide operate, Andrew Chapel, like so many others, was quickly thrust into this new mission field of online worship.
What started small with an iPhone, a tripod and a handful of dedicated masked and distanced leaders has grown into a somewhat well-oiled machine that meets in the sanctuary on Thursday afternoons to record and produce a service for Sunday morning.
The online worship service that has been arriving in your inbox and uploaded to our video media channels Sunday mornings takes more than a simple act of pressing a record button. Different aspects of the service were recorded in sections based on the availability of participants and later edited together. Sometimes the microphones need sound adjustment, or the camera operator misses their mark, and we’ve had to “take two.” The words of prayer, response and hymns must be added by hand during post-production.
Who makes up this village?
Teenagers have dressed in their Sunday best on Thursday afternoons and shown up at our doors ready to serve as acolytes (and if you’ve raised or remember being a teenager you know this is no small feat). Church members with full-time jobs use their lunch breaks to come prepare flowers for the altar or run the sound recording equipment. Another has missed a soul-refreshing long-standing weekly fellowship gathering with friends to faithfully help with the recording. Musicians met on multiple occasions to create beautiful music in multi-hour sessions. Many full Saturdays have been spent editing and uploading video for Sunday morning.
Through it all this village remained faithful to our call to worship and the Holy Spirit has walked with us through this process. God sees what we’re doing and continues to call us toward this new season of digital ministry. Now, we are excited this season of Thursday worship is coming to an end.
This month we transition to live streaming on Sunday mornings. In this new era, we will continue to listen for the Lord’s direction on what on-line worship at Andrew Chapel is to become. And just like in March 2020 when we began learning a new process, there will be a time for growth and stretching our capacity to produce and deliver an online worship service to those not in our building.
Digital ministry, this is what it means to “Be the Church” in 2021.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has lived out this “Be the Church” initiative at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church. Whether you knew it or not when you said yes, your service played an important part of connecting people to God.