WORSHIP AND MUSIC
Worship and Music and Altar Guild work together throughout the liturgical year planning ways to integrate our worship services and worship space to allow members to fully experience God’s word.
This year started as many others as we worshipped together for Advent and Epiphany. Focus was on how to bring visual and acoustical meaning to our worship liturgy and space. Plans were made and ready to go for Lent until March came and the COVID pandemic began. Thanks to our Cluster and Synod, we were able to celebrate Holy Week and Easter but not in the way any of us could have imagined when we started the year. WAGM worked all year with Meggan to walk through new ways to worship. We took ideas and guidelines from the church Council to try to implement ways to continue to worship weekly. We surveyed members to find out what was important, where we could improvise, and what we could adapt to a new media. Meggan was tireless in learning new technology and platforms to worship live via Facebook: included was how to frame the altar, how to bring the sanctuary to our congregational members, how to continue employing our accompanist, how to safely choose lectors, singers, and other worship assistants safely, when to wear masks and when it was safe to remove. Most challenging was working with our synod to bring communion to our homes. We even figured out how to have a baptism and confirmation safely.
Our cluster was very supportive of also helping us learn the art and technology of pre-recording services. Our team and our congregational members learned to record themselves in their yards, their homes and even in front of our Christmas trees and Advent candles and home altars. Meggan, again, led the way to splice and dice our recordings (even when they were filmed the wrong direction) into beautiful worship services. Many of us teamed up with other households to ensure access to this technology.
Eventually, again using synod and cluster guidelines, we were able to commit to small outdoor in person worship services monthly as a goal. We managed this using fire pits, outdoor speakers, blankets and heating units up until November. We had a service of Lament, Beer and Hymns sing along, Pet Blessing, planning for the holidays with COVID and Trinity trivia. We even had outdoor worship on the patio in the snow. Our December, Christmas Eve in person fireside worship was cancelled due to rising numbers of COVID cases in the state.
Even now, we continue to plan for an uncertain future all with the goal of returning to regular worship together and in person once we know it is safe.