Virtual Ministry, Virtual Community

Some of us remember the Jetsons cartoon, always wondering what the future would be like. Would we be driving flying cars, using robot vacuums, video calling friends and family, having robot maids and assistants in our home? The Jetsons was set in 2062 and yet in 2020 we have almost all of those futuristic things in our daily lives and thank goodness because I am not quite sure what we would do during this pandemic without them!

Virtual church and ministry is one thing I never imagined we would be doing. We thrive on human contact and being in community with one another, but with the Covid-19 reigning havoc on our society that one thing that keeps us sane has been stripped from us. Who knew we would need video conferencing in order to meet with our worshiping communities? Zoom Sunday School, Zoom coffee hours, Facebook live worship services with no one present, zoom committee and board meetings, it’s a bizarre time but here we are and we seem to be killing it!

One thing I have realized is with everything being online we must try harder to be in community, we must really want it or else we will just choose to isolate ourselves which is not healthy. Social distancing is one thing but isolating yourself completely is another thing. We have these wonderful platforms like Facetime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Live, Youtube, and Instagram, that are helping us continue to be community even if we have to stay apart physically. While these are wonderful tools we also need to remember that not everyone has access to the internet or a computer and if they do they may not know how to work them. Remember to pick up the phone and call these folks or, write them a letter! Stay connected, check on your people!

This morning UKirk met for the first time on ZOOM because until yesterday we have been on Spring Break. We plan to meet with our students twice a week on ZOOM. On Tuesdays we will have a virtual coffee hour for everyone to talk freely and just catch up. On Thursdays we will meet virtually for theology talks where students can submit questions and then we discuss them as a community. On Wednesdays we will live stream our worship service. We chose live stream instead of pre-recording it because we like the idea of worshipping right then with our community even if from a distance. On top of all of this we will be sending daily devotions to our students in our group message, in order to give them a little bit of hope and security during this anxious time.

We are living in a strange, uncertain time but we are making the best of it. Churches of all sizes are doing what they can to continue encouraging community and bring their congregations comfort and hope. We aren’t living in the Jetsons world quite yet but we are getting there, go talk to Alexa and ask her to start your Roomba and we will talk soon! Remember, wash your hands, stay home and meet with your community online, on the phone or through a letter, however works best for you all. We need each other right now, just from a distance.

 

Stay Well.

Jaclyn Beeler
Communications Coordinator


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