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So … I'm a bit flabbergasted because this whole "virtual church" webcast thing is working. I mean really working. People are coming to our virtual pews.
Sure, attendance may have to do partly with the fact that a lot of people are cooped up in their homes (which during this pandemic is a wise and neighbourly thing to do). And so the popularity of our services might be the result of a default position: Everything from "Heck, let's watch Blair make a fool of himself and hopefully spread the 'Good News' message of Jesus" to "Darn, I've finished watching Tiger King on Netflix so I might as well watch Blair. Not the same amount of mayhem, but almost."
But whatever the reason, over 400 people were watching today's live 4 United Churches Friends and Family Facebook video of the Easter Sunday worship service at one point! And that's just those tuning in directly via Facebook. We are also linking the live stream through our website. A lot of the people who have been watching are friends that I've known for years but who live in Newfoundland or Prescott and many points in between. And they don't seem to mind being "church-watchers," even though quite a few of them might not be "churchgoers."
This success is giving me some things to think about … you know, about our post-pandemic normal when we get back to "good, old-fashioned face-to-face" worship, with actual people sitting in the actual pews.
If we, as a small four-point pastoral charge, can quadruple our attendance by spending a few bucks on cellular data and live streaming church, why not? Why not indeed! Oh, there will be a lot of thinks to be thinking in the days and weeks ahead.
Until then, amigos y amigas, know one thing: God loves you very, very much. That's really what Easter's all about. And if you need/want to talk, or chat, or share a funny (but shareable) joke, or just need a listening ear … I'm around.