Reflections on 15 Months of Online Worship

by | May 28, 2021 | Feature

Doug HaneyReflections of 15 Months of Online Worship – Doug Haney, associate pastor

When my alarm rings at 6 a.m. on Sunday, June 6, it will be the first time I’ve set an alarm on a Sunday morning since March 8, 2020. Almost every Friday morning for 15 months I have put on my Sunday best — like all of our ministers — and come to the church to record segments for worship. But it’s not been the same without the people in the pews. It will be so wonderful to see you and to hear you.

What have I learned in all this? Here are a few random thoughts:
We have an amazing ministry and support staff team. Our weekly and seasonal worship experiences have had great content and high production value (with a special shout-out to David Hammons).

Nothing in our training or experience could have prepared us for what was required to help us continue to worship together online. But collaboration, adaptability and creativity were assets that helped us do what we didn’t know we could do and produce what we didn’t know we could create. “Yay, team!” really is more than an empty slogan at Wilshire.

On a more somber note, the absence of making music with our wonderful choir and hearing our congregation sing was a loss that was profound. I will never again take for granted music created in community, voices old and young melding together, filling the space, rising in praise to God. When we come together June 6, I wonder whether we shall be able to sing a note for the tears.

In a recent trip to visit our four young grandsons in Rock Hill, South Carolina, I overheard Lori teaching the oldest, Elijah, the well-trod child’s rhyme: Here is the church: here is the steeple. Open the door and see all the people.

Liturgy, from the Greek word leitourgia, means “the work of the people.”

Yes, worship is that labor of love we are all called to do with heart and soul and mind. We need to see and hear all the people — every body — to worship well. See you next Sunday.