Being the Church in the Face of COVID-19: A F.A.Q. of Worship and Events at St. Christopher’s

Dear St. Christopher’s and Friends,

A number of you have asked similar question or very good questions, all of which deserve an answer. Here is what I’ve heard, and here is the answer…

Q: Is St. Christopher’s closed or will it be closing?
A: No. Our building is closed to the public and Washingtonians have strict measures in place about gatherings, but many things are taking place online and off for St. Christopher’s. The outdoor worship spaces remain open for you to use individually – the Labyrinth, the Stations of the Cross, and the Columbarium. The Open Hands foodbank garden is still slated to go on. And we are adding more and more online worship, fellowship, and learning opportunities.

Q: Will there be another Eucharist online? How does online Eucharist work?
A: Yes. We are pre-recording a Eucharist and posting it Saturday night/Sunday morning each week. We post it on Facebook at facebook.com/stchristopherolympia and we post links to the video on our website’s front page – www.StChristopherOlympia.org .

Q: Do I have to to be a Facebook User to view the video?
A: No. Our Facebook page is public and anyone can see our posts, regardless of whether they are a Facebook member or not. Certain features, such as commenting or ‘liking’ something, are reserved for Facebook members only. But anyone can view our worship on Facebook and we hope they will!

Q: What’s this about “Watch Parties” and ‘Christopher Saint’ ?
A: In addition to posting the video Eucharist, St. Christopher’s hosts Facebook “Watch Parties” at our regular service times of 8am and 10:30am on Sunday. Watch Parties are a group of people who watch a video simultaneously and have a chat room to type comments back and forth. In our case, we use the chat room to speak the congregational part of the liturgy – lots of Amen’s, and also with you’s, Lord have mercy’s and peace be with you’s. It’s a way to turn watching a video back into a live, group experience. ‘Christopher Saint’, the facebook profile of our church office, hosts the Watch Parties. We do this to screen spammers and other inappropriate content from our group worship.

Q: How do I get invited to a Watch Party?
A: Invite Christopher Saint to be a ‘friend’ on Facebook. (see https://www.facebook.com/christopher.saint.359 ) To do this you must be a Facebook user. If you are a known individual and/or meet some basic criteria showing an honest interest in worshiping together, we’ll be happy to invite you. Alternatively, any Facebook member can start their own watch party with their own contacts on Facebook.

Q: If we’re doing all this on Facebook, what’s the deal with Zoom.
A: Zoom is a tele-conferencing (video) service and software. It allows people to gather online via video and/or phone and have an orderly conversation. We us Zoom for small groups of people such as team & committee meetings, Bible Studies and classes, and for group fellowship.

Q: Do I have to do any of this techy stuff?
A: No, you don’t. While we are pushing for our community to engage with each other and keep our connections to one another, you may choose to do differently. We do think these are among the best options for our community at this time. We want to continue to be in touch, to organize and coordinate, to converse and encourage, and to continually be an active Church even in the face of social distancing. And you are important to us. We don’t want to be disconnected from you.

Q: What if I can’t get it to work?
A: Fr. James is happy to help you to get things up and running. But if it doesn’t work… well, then it doesn’t work! We’ve got phones and letters and prayer. We’ll continue to to use those too! In whatever we do, the love of God and the love of our neighbor deserves our very best efforts.

See you online!

Permanent link to this article: https://stchristopherolympia.org/being-the-church-in-the-face-of-covid-19-a-f-a-q-of-worship-and-events-at-st-christophers/

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