Although we can’t be in our building for the time being, we can still worship together via the wonderful capacities of the internet and contemporary technology.
For this week, we will “gather” at 10 a.m. on Sunday March 22, as every week, but obviously things will be done a bit differently. First, thanks to Deacon Laura and Pastor Dave for their invaluable assistance in helping me get set up.
We will be worshiping together using the Morning Prayer service from our Prayer Book. Don’t worry if you don’t have the book; the service and our music will be projected on your computer screen, and will look very similar to the overhead screen in the sanctuary. The only difference is that you will also see the live videos of the leaders.
Deacon Laura has given us instructions for how to connect this Sunday in the forwarded message below. If you don’t already have the GoToMeeting platform installed on your device, I strongly encourage you to install the software/app ASAP when you receive this message. I would also encourage you to join the meeting earlier than 10 a.m. We will be online by at least 9:45; and it will be just like arriving early for worship. (Perhaps we could even instill this as a new habit for us!!) Both these measures will hopefully make things go a little more smoothly Sunday.
If you want to connect with both the visual and audio portions of our worship you will need either a computer (desktop or laptop) with internet connection or a smartphone. However, if you don’t have internet connectivity, you can still call in to the meeting phone number. Once you are connected you’ll punch in the access code. If you choose the phone option please use a cell phone rather than a landline because the call will be a long-distance call; and mute your phone so we don’t hear any background noise.
If you need the meeting number/access code, please email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can participate by computer or by phone; we’ll be glad to provide you with the details for either case.
As with the first time we try any new thing, there are bound to be speed bumps with this system. Some of them we can anticipate: it is going to feel odd to worship this way; the flow will not be the same as in our sanctuary, and especially not at first; it is going to be awkward feeling like you’re the only one singing with the music leader (thank you, Kristin Jacobs!!) or repeating the congregational responses. Knowing that the rest of us are there with you will help some; as will getting used to the process over time.
Don’t worry if you miss the service or if you encounter technical difficulties (remember, those speed bumps). We’ll be posting the video recording here on the COTS website (regrettably, without music, as COTS’ CCLI license does not cover public transmission of worship performances).
Just so that you know, we are working on other areas of ministry that it is vital that we continue during this season of “exile” from our building, including ongoing worship and particularly pastoral care, as well as concerned response to the needs of our Ambridge neighbors–not just those who may become ill, but also those who have lost income or even jobs because of the increasing social restrictions needed to combat the epidemic. We will be communicating with you concerning all these areas (and more) in coming days, but we’re spreading out the communications so as not to overwhelm you at an obviously stressful time.Please know that you are being prayed for. As you have particular prayer needs, don’t forget to let us know. Remember that God is on His Throne, and this epidemic does not surprise Him. I pray that you may be especially encouraged in his love and keeping power for you through our Lord Jesus Christ.
in Christ alone,