Last week’s WFAA News coverage of local church closures (in which we were beautifully featured — take a look!) ended with the line that sticks with me still as we contemplate what it means to really be part of a virtual congregation for an extended period of time. Together — and yet, not.
So how can we create a meaningful Sunday morning worship service in our home, in our jammies, and possibly surrounded by our furry, four-legged worshippers? Sitting down with a few of our pastors and staffers, here are some tips we’ve come up with to help make your home of worship feel just a little more sacred:
“Try something you’re might be too self-conscious to try in public, like praying with your hands open, singing out loud, kneeling to pray, or making notes in a Bible!”
“Put the other screens/distractions away!”
“I turn off all other electronics. I snuggle up in a blanket with my coffee and worship.”
“Make it a family time, gather everyone, dogs and cats included, and try to really focus on being together in this time. Pay close attention to the music and the message — and then spend a few minutes discussing both afterwards, allowing each person to share their favorite parts and what especially spoke to or comforted or inspired them.”
“Have your Bible handy to follow along with the scripture reading; and when there’s a hymn or song to sing, sing along; participate aloud (even if you’re by yourself) in all the acts of worship, including Affirmations of Faith, Gloria Patri, Lord’s Prayer, and Doxology.”
“During the prayer time, make the prayers also your own as the pastor leads the prayer. Try to spend a few moments in prayer before and after the service.”
Remembering that this time of social distancing is not forever, try to find creative ways to connect with friends and family and others in our worship community through all the means made possible by technology. If you’re not familiar with apps or some of these mechanisms, now is a great time to learn! Reach out, ask questions, and add a few new tech savvy skills that will help you keep in touch until we’re all together again.