July 29, 2021

As I write it is Monday, July 12. On the whole, I was very pleased with our return to in-person worship yesterday. It was like a long awaited meeting with an old friend. I am appreciative of all the helpful feedback from those of you who joined us in-person, via YouTube livestream or via Zoom.

Here are a few observations and pieces of advice:

  1. If you attended in-person worship, I trust you sensed our commitment to safety as well as our desire to provide a warm welcome and a sense of familiarity. We will continue to proceed cautiously making adjustments from Sunday to Sunday. We will prioritize, adding in education time for children and an outdoor Coffee Hour. The choir will likely not return until late September or early October.
  2. The livestream equipment that was purchased, installed and tested over the 68 weeks of Zoom worked marvelously. The acuity of the cameras was magnificent. The microphones captured the sound very well. If you are not able to be with us in person but want to feel like you are with us in the sanctuary, joining via YouTube is clearly the best option. People that opened the YouTube link from their computer and then cast the livestream to their television got a great result. We continue to learn the craft and make adjustments. We are not trying to be highly creative with our worship service right now so we can keep getting better at the basics.
  3. By now Zoom is a familiar experience to most. You are likely comfortable with signing in and know what to expect. The Zoom platform also provides the opportunity for a little bit of personal interaction. Because of this, and because we want to make sure people are able to connect to the service by calling in, we will continue to make our services Zoom accessible. The downside of Zoom is that while it provides access to the service, the picture and the sound will not be as clear as they are on a direct connection to YouTube. This is compounded by the settings and capabilities of the device you are signing in from.
  4. A further note on Zoom—we are working to develop a team of Sunday Worship Zoom hosts. The Zoom host can work from either the church or a remote location. All that is required is a stable internet connection. Training will be provided. Please let me know if you can help.

I am looking forward to preaching a four-part sermon series, Summer Words, in August. The schedule will be:

  • August 1 – “Bounty” taken from John 6:35 “[Jesus] I am the bread of life.”
  • August 8 – “Baseball” taken from Isaiah 57:15 “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit.
  • August 15 – “Barbeque” taken from 2 Samuel 6:19 “David…distributed to the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins.
  • August 22 – “Beach” taken from Mark 1:16 “As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea.”

Once again. There are three good ways to join us for worship. We hope you will do so even if you are nowhere near the corner of Lakeshore and Mandana.

Peace,
Jim H.