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 anticipated reunion with an old friend. I am appreciative of the 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 got a sense of our commitment to safety as well as our desire to provide a warm welcome and a touch 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 not meeting in person worked marvelously. The acuity of the cameras was superb. The microphones captured the sound very well. If you are not able to be with us in person, yet 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 of livestreaming 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 of sharing the service.
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 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 is that while it provides access to the service, the picture and the sound from the sanctuary 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. If you are having a hard time hearing please pay close attention to the volume levels on your device.
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 from 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.
Some Prayer Concerns
Rita Jennings as she prepares for surgery tomorrow, the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the assasination of President Moise, Robert Wilkins as he begins as the Director of the Seafarers Ministry at the Port of Oakland, Pastor Carolyn’s daughter Joanna who is undergoing surgery today, Leon Taylor at Summit Hospital, LABC’s Vacation Bible Camp (online this week), The ongoing work of our Hunger Task Force, The Palestian people facing eviction from their homes.