With the rising concerns for our people in relationship to COVID-19, South Church has temporarily suspended our Acts of Faith ministries as they are ALL community based. However, that doesn’t mean that we discontinue being a Faith Community. So today we start our grand experiment in virtual sacred space. We have spent the week listening for the Holy Spirit among the many voices calling urgently for action and change and adaptation. We are confident that our steadfast God will take this opportunity to do a new thing among us; our challenge will be to remain open to that new life and notice it when it comes.
As a pastor friend of Laura’s remarked, this time of enforced slowing down can actually offer us a new Lenten rhythm and discipline during which we can pause, plant our bodies in a new space, and open our hearts and minds to a new way of being in community with our creator and with one another.
And as our Evangelism Coordinator, Barb Sixbey, reminds us, for Presbyterians, Lent is a time for developing our individual spirituality and connection to God. We have here, a wonderful opportunity to do just that.
Below are links for are our first attempts at creating videos for us to share as part of our virtual gathering this weekend. (These are also accessible through the first slider on our Home Page (above) that takes you to our YouTube Channel, South Church Rochester.) Andy has created some music which will be forthcoming as we get that part organized. Sing for Joy! recorded some anthems and we will begin using those next week.
For now, we invite you to find a time to sit down – either alone or with one or two friends and family – and ponder our lesson for the week, whether it is a reflection on the Woman at the Well, or an invitation to The Purell of Prayer.
Laura’s video is along the lines of the discussion-centered worship of New Life on Monroe, and she created the video in one take as her first attempt to guide a conversation that necessarily occurs out of synch with itself. We invite you to pause the video to reflect on or discuss the content. And if you go off in a new direction – just follow the Spirit that way; no doubt a new insight will unfold for you. We are both sure there are many ways this first take can be improved, so we welcome your ideas and feedback.
Deb’s video takes a more “sermonizing” approach as is common for Fellowship of Faith. She also experimented with inserting a hymn for you to sing along with and a postlude filled with pictures of our Acts of Faith to remind you of how we are all connected to each other. (Please remember there is a tacet approval for use of your image printed in our bulletins. If you are upset with a picture of you, please let us know and we will remove it.)
We both invite you to check out both videos. One nice thing is that they are available 24/7 which supports our Acts of Faith Model that church is 24/7. You might even enjoy listening or watching more than once, though I suspect that we will both be adding other video and written content throughout the week.
Would you like to create a Facebook page or other group where we can reflect together on the week’s lesson, our experiences in this new period of isolation, our joys and concerns, etc.?
For those of you thinking of our Cobb’s Hill friends, we cannot currently enter the building. Barbara Durfee has already suggested that we send cards to our friends there and we think that is an excellent idea. Laura is working with Brandon to see whether he can find a way to show them our videos so that they can participate together in that way as well.
If you know of anyone needing groceries, medicines or other errands run, some of our members have volunteered to do that. Please let us know.
We are both available by phone, Zoom, FaceTime, and in person, if you wish, on a case by case basis. Please feel free to be in touch with us either through the SPC Office (585-271-5078) or by the Contact Tab above.
We hold you each in our prayers as we journey forward.
Here are the LINKS to the videos. Click on the title to be magically transported to it. OR .. go to YouTube.com and search for South Church Rochester. You’ll see many things, even some of our videos, but click on the Firebird Logo to go to our channel. Once there, click on the tab for VIDEOS and you will see all of our videos, going back several years, but especially including our most recent ones.
Laura and Deb
The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift, Pastor
The Reverend Laura M. Bachmann, Associate Pastor