With temples of worship shut down due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one Fairfield County church has turned to technology to provide faith services.
The Congregational Church of New Canaan has been posting virtual worship services online as it practices socially distancing. The church has also used Zoom as part of its digital shift.
Rev. Stephen Chapin Garner, the senior minister at the church, said that “while there are times when communal life on Zoom can be trying and limiting, it also can bring remarkably gifts and allows us to remain connected and committed as a community.”
Garner said that this week he’d gathered virtually with church members from Texas, Long Island, Maine, and Europe, and the church has been able to conduct regular staff meetings and have started planning events for next year.
The church has also been able to virtually host their regular youth group and middle school youth group gatherings, which Garner said, “is providing interpersonal group connections for which our kids are hungering.” The church is also in the process of creating a “Church Family Video Scrapbook.”
“Every interaction I have with you all – in Bible study, in team meetings, in small groups, or brief encounters on the sidewalk – your mood has been appropriately serious with the gravity of this situation. Still, also you have been buoyant and hopeful and cheerful,” Garner said.
“As Holy Week approaches, I assumed I would be feeling the loss of Palm Sunday, and Tenebrae, and Good Friday, and Easter as we are accustomed to celebrating them. Only days away from our holiest season of the year, gratitude, and even a degree of joy fill my spirit.”
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