Beloved of SHUMC,
I was reflecting on some of the lessons learned during the last year, and I have to say, many of us feel like the sponge that is wrung dry! Those who are monitoring trends, involvement and commitment to faith communities are discovering many seismic shifts in how church is done post pandemic. One of the most telling changes has been the presence of the church online. When COVID began, SHUMC had been strong in relationship and in person worship, with little attention to our live stream presence. That changed in a hurry, and a special thanks to Steve Fassler, Bob Brown, Jim Parker and Deb Looker who led the way in strengthening our online presence. We had quite the growing process, and along the way made a few mistakes, but the amazing reality is this; we not only kept the worship experience available via YouTube, but with the help of our music staff created a worship that was familiar, and grace filled. A tremendous amount of life’s blood went into that preparation, and with the help of some of our patrons and gifts, we moved ahead at a pace that was the envy of other churches.
Yet the work to make this happen was in no way simple, and it was pretty exhausting! The hours required to make two worship settings happen each week requires many volunteer hours (three people at each worship setting, so 6 every Sunday morning) and a dedication to learn and grow as the technology shifts and expands. Media has gone from being a dream in ministry to an essential portion of how we bring the gospel to life.
The summer approaches, and it is time to slow down and assess our live stream goals and objectives. The SPRC is searching for a Media Specialist who will be compensated for the many hours it takes to set up the slide presentations, work the sound board and video feed while also helping our volunteers get the training they need to succeed at keeping our live stream exciting!
Accordingly, there are some temporary changes coming in how we serve through our online presence. Our goal is to have 1 live stream experience every Sunday, and it will often be the traditional setting (the contemporary setting is a more complex livestream). There may be a Sunday when we are unable to livestream, and we apologize in advance for that, but do know our intention is for this to be the exception rather than the rule.
We will need some more servants who can run our slides and mix on Sunday, and there will be training and scheduling at the convenience of all on the team! If you would say yes to an occasional opportunity to serve in this manner, please talk to Rev. Michael or Rev. Tim and we will get you in the cycle.
Please continue to pray for us as we transition into our glorious future, remember love is patient as kind, and believe in the work that Christ is accomplishing through us!
May our days be filled with joy, and may blessings abound for all of us who call SHUMC our faith community!