Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Participating in worship during COVID-19 has been a different experience than most of us are used to. Many congregations are doing online worship either live with Zoom or Facebook live, or recording worship and presenting it on various online platforms. When our shelter in place began in early March, we also postponed the May 9th presbytery gathering. In March, we did not know what the future would bring. But we were confident that business as usual was not going to be possible. We knew that the ability to assemble over 100 people, bring in outside speakers, obtain reports from various committees, and pull together a cohesive and worthwhile meeting could not happen.
Just as many churches have found a way forward, so has the presbytery. Our next two presbytery gatherings will be online. The first will be on Saturday June 13 and the second will be August 27. We are excited about providing an opportunity for everyone to participate, learn, and fellowship during these events. We will use the Zoom platform. This will enable both video and audio participation. For those who have the technology and bandwidth for video, you will be able to see one another as well as listen to the business and learning. For those with only telephone capabilities, you will still be able to listen, vote, and voice your opinion. Click here to see a humorous take on doing online presbytery gathering from my colleague Stewart Smith in Arkansas.
The staff has participated on other online presbytery meetings so that we could bring what we learned back to Giddings-Lovejoy. We will have several opportunities for those who need training on how to participate remotely. We have learned to have layers of help with technology and using Zoom with a large audience. The June 13th meeting is scheduled from 2 – 4 p.m. in the afternoon. This should provide those with children a best time to participate.
We will prepare, train, and practice. And it will not be perfect! But whatever happens, we will all be in it together to make the best of our situation during this pandemic. We will experiment and learn as a community. This too is what it means to be presbytery and to be the church of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Craig M. Howard