Siblings in Christ,
Thank you so much for joining in online worship yesterday. I pray that gathering for worship even via the website was as uplifting for you as it was for me.
You should know you were not alone in worship. Surely, where two or more are gathered Christ is present, but I am so glad to report:
There were 107 views of the Youtube video (these people viewed 5 minutes or more). 115 people went to the video through the website, An additional 75 accessed the website through Facebook. 89 people checked in via the google form (this number includes individuals and their family/friends)
All in all, our attendance wasn't much different from usual, if not a bit higher. We likely reached people who do not attend Eastport United Methodist. Our church website also served as a resource to other area clergy and leaders to show them how they may host their own church online.
I hope that if there are ways we can improve the online worship "experience" you'll drop me a note and let me know. (At this moment, we are only using songs that are Public Domain, to avoid copyright infringement).
My colleagues have said to me, "you know, seminary didn't train us for this." A few of you have even mentioned the same. It's true. We (you included) haven't been trained for moments like this.
We've been formed.
Our regular practice of corporate/communal worship or prayer or reading or singing or all of the above has shaped and formed us for, not just our everyday lives, but especially in times like this.
We have been welcomed to the Table, nurtured by water and the Spirit, fed by bread and cup, practiced persisting in hope, and have been sent with God's blessing so that we may be attentive and present to the ways we can love one another. Here and now.
The church building is closed, we are not gathering in the sanctuary for worship, but Christ's body is active and at work in our homes and neighborhoods more so now than ever. Part of that work is staying put and washing up. But it may also mean picking up the phone and calling, texting, emailing someone in the congregation; checking on their well-being, getting to know them.
I've been thinking of this poem by St. Teresa of Avila,
Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Let's Stay Connected:
I am working on ways we can connect with one another throughout the days ahead, such as:
If I can get the kids to nap around 1, I'll join you for coffee on our church's Facebook live.
I've created a private Facebook group and we'll have a Virtual Open Mic Night on Friday from 6-8pm, where you can post your videos in the group and we can chime in and have some fun.
Morning Prayer on Wednesday at 7 am on our church's Facebook page.I'll be working on another avenue for us to gather online for those without Facebook.
Please note that while our administrative assistant Sha'Ron is in the office, we prefer if you call or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need anything.