Over the next few weeks, we will be engaging in the transition back to “the new normal” more and more. For Palm Sunday and the Feast Day of the Resurrection (aka Easter) we will offer both in-person worship and a service online. But this represents, for lack of a better term, two separate worship events and two communities. The experience is not the same. In the weeks following Easter, we will begin to shift back to livestreaming the Sunday morning worship via Facebook so what you see on the screen is happening in real time.
I am personally excited about the change. While at some level I have appreciated the ability to have a flawless service broadcasted each Sunday with all sort of options to reshoot mistakes and garbled words, it has been strange to occasionally preach to a completely empty church, as I did for this Palm Sunday. It also makes me feel disconnected from the online community, with whom I am not truly interacting.
But the livestreaming process is not always smooth, either for the online community or the people present for the service. The verisimilitude of live worship comes with the risk of spotty internet connections in the church, technical problems with the components, and the odd bit of wrangling for the people in front of the cameras.
To that end, I beg your patience. Most of the time, we know when we are having a problem, and work as quickly as possible to resolve it. The polished audio and video of the past may be replaced with something a little more “real,” shall we say. As sci-fi author Frank Herbert once said, “real boats rock.”
With time and practice and the continued acquiring of resources, our online presence will inevitably improve. The online service broadcast will continue to serve those who, for whatever reason, can not join us personally for worship and allow our community to be even wider and more connected, both through the holiest of weeks and for years to come.