St James, St Bartholomew’s and Shred held their first Holy Communion via ‘Zoom’ last Sunday, a technology that allows anyone to join via a computer, smartphone, tablet or regular home telephone – a bit like a conference call… today Ali shares her thoughts on the experience.
…Ali Baxter writes
In October, I had a conversation with the Vicar, Graeme, regarding my proposal, having been prompted by God, to set up an online Zoom church for our Parish. Graeme happily gave his backing and shortly afterwards Carol Holdsworth came on board. This was just before Lockdown 2 was announced. I felt sure we could make it work as I am involved in an online prayer group using a similar format. Carol and I trialled MSES Zoom Church for 3 weeks, then met online to sort out technical issues and how to proceed with Graeme.
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name” Jesus said, – at home: via Zoom on a computer, mobile phone, tablet or via an ordinary home telephone – “ there am I in the midst of them”
MSES Zoom church went ‘live’ last Sunday after the parishes clubbed together and bought a Zoom licence. Graeme gave out the joining instructions via email to those enquiring and by note form to all our congregation who receive the Sunday service in paper form.
From 2 of us to 21 in total at our first ‘live’ service. Carol and I felt super blessed to have so many join us. We were overwhelmed emotionally by the response and almost technically by the number of people too! To be honest we did not expect so many the first time. Thank you to all who joined for your patience. The joining experience should be quicker next time.
Our congregation was made up of people from St. Bartholomew’s, St. James, Shred, Slaithwaite Methodists and a lady from Marsden village for whom church is almost new. Half joined via Zoom video and half via ordinary telephone. This is especially why we set this all up so those particularly isolated can join in church worship again. We hope and pray all and more will join again next week.
MSES Zoom church is open to all – this includes well behaved pets! And partners, family members and friends. Please contact the Vicar for the dial in or log in details. They will be the same each week.
Carol and I prepare the room and space where we are going to be for Zoom. We light a candle and have a piece of bread ready for communion. You may wish to do the same. If you feel comfortable taking wine (or alternative) please have this prepared also.
Please start joining up to Zoom church from 10.50am. You will initially be in a waiting room and will be gradually admitted into the group and welcomed. Please be patient as we are still getting to grips with all the technology involved. If you are joining by telephone, we will need you to identify yourselves as we only see on the computer screen the number you have dialled. Please be on time! Once we have admitted all in the waiting room, we will start the service, hopefully at 11am. If you join late you will still be admitted but may have to wait a short while.
We very much look forward to worshipping with all who wish to join us.
God bless you, love Ali and Carol.