It has been quite a busy fall for those of us on the Standing Committee, with the delta variant forcing us to abruptly readjust our fall opening plans in August. Now that we have made it through our first month of services, we wanted to let you know about some of the plans we have for the coming year.
The big change this year of course is that we have moved to multi-platform worship, with some people in the sanctuary and some people watching in-person at home. This is a work in progress. The Worship Tech team has been working hard since last year to get our new camera system installed, and to learn how to use it, but this is very different from what we did pre-Covid. We knew that we wouldn’t have everything in place on September 12. We also knew that we wanted to take some time to think about what changes we want to make, and be intentional about them. So we decided to take the step-by-step approach and start with what we were able to support now with our current level of volunteers.
Committees are continuing to work on next steps now. Here is a preview of what is coming:
In the near term: (sometime this fall)
- Recruiting people ahead of time to lead chalice lightings in the sanctuary (and other aspects of the service)
- Audio recordings of the singing choirs during the services
- Bell Choir performing during a service
- Recording of service in the sanctuary, in parts, or all at once, without the congregation (for instance, to have a pre-taped service on hand for a snow day or a vacation day for Rev Ellen).
- More outside the box intergens, Open Pantry collection in November, and cookie communion deliveries
Sometime after Christmas:
- Broadcasting the service through YouTube Live to get the Chat and Closed Captioning back
- Having a soloist in the sanctuary (depends on Covid numbers of course)
- On October 31st, Rev. Ellen will be holding a Worship Summit with all of the groups involved in worship so they can come together and talk about long term plans for worship, including things like multimedia content.
These are strange times. At our Standing Committee retreat we talked about looking at this unusual year as an opportunity to experiment with what it means to be in community not just in-person, or online, but both in-person and online. Some things will work, and some things won’t, but either way we will learn a lot about this new way of being together. We ask for your support this year as we transition from the past 18 months of crisis response to our new normal. Please be patient with the things that don’t work as well as we’d like. Let us know when things do work well. Most importantly, we can’t do this by ourselves. We do need more volunteers to do this work. We need help on Sunday mornings with the Worship Tech team, Ushers and Greeters. The Shooting Star and the Friday Announcements will have other opportunities for helping out outside of Sunday mornings with some of our new experimental program ideas.
On behalf of your Standing Committee,