Updated: Feb 16
See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
Happy New Year, Risen Lord!
I noticed more than a few memes friends posted on Facebook about being ready to say good-bye to 2022 or letting 2023 know what their requirements for the new year were (as if we get a say-so, right?).
Since 2020, many want to just let go of the past few years: the isolation, the constant debates on masks, meeting in-person, vaccines, and so on. “Can we just move on already?” many lament.
Much of those restrictions have passed, but we still get sick. We still can die, if not from COVID, from other illnesses or reasons. Many are still careful to wear masks when they get sick. Others whose health is frail and their loved ones still shudder to be in public places unmasked or unvaccinated.
This week, I’ve been reading the book, The Holy and the Hybrid: Navigating the Church’s Digital Reformation by Ryan M. Panzer. It was a good reflection on all that congregations went through during the pandemic, particularly those early days.
Looking back during the pandemic, folks went from rejoicing at the first uses and connections made on Zoom and YouTube to soon begrudging them. However, for others, this was their first, safe encounter with worship in years because of mental or physical health. For others, this was a chance to worship in a way that met them on their own terms, whether that was fear of judgement, having anxiety, or juggling crazy work and family life schedules.
The book’s premise is this: if there is anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, is that we need both digital platforms for ministry and in-person connection in the life of the Church. We need both. Hence, hybrid church.
How grateful I am that with Tapestry Church’s resources, help from Jim Ream of Tapestry and now Risen Lord member, Chad Tuley, we can easily record worship and offer it online again. Chad, in fact, is helping me form a Technology Team that might creatively and effectively help Risen Lord expand the digital presence of our amazingly loving and welcoming congregation.
We want to hear from you! If you have an idea of how Risen Lord could more effectively share God’s love through words and actions digitally, please let Chad Tuley or me know.
And if you haven’t done so already, please, PLEASE, subscribe to Risen Lord’s YouTube page at Risen Lord Lutheran Church - YouTube or at this URL--https://www.youtube.com/@risenlordlutheranchurch. Once we have 100 subscribers, we can livestream worship (offer worship online at the same time we are worshiping).
We didn’t know it back in COVID the opportunities to reach others through digital ministry. But a new thing was springing up for the Church, a reformation of sorts. I wonder what good news and ministry opportunity God may be declaring to us now, before it happens in 2023.
Happy New Year, Risen Lord!