Written by Pastor Peter Hanson, Lead Pastor
Worship is central to our identity as followers of Christ, and is a foundational part of what binds us together as a Christian community. A hallmark of our ministry during these months of the Covid-19 Pandemic has been our online worship presence, to which we had to pivot quickly following the abrupt call to refrain from in-person gatherings in March. From that initial livestream, to editing segments pre-recorded from a variety of homes, to a “one-take” through-recording of a Sunday liturgy during the week prior, our worship has been constantly evolving. In addition, we’ve hosted midweek vespers through the summer on Zoom, held a handful of Drive-in Worship services, and met for “Pop-up Picnics Plus Prayer” when the weather cooperated. What we’ve learned through all this is that while it might be a bit more clunky or awkward than what we’re used to, worship during this strange time gives us an opportunity to feel a bit more connected, even though we are mostly separated from one another.
For these early days of fall, we are adding more opportunities to gather in smaller numbers, with what we are calling “Home Grown Worship” (HGW). Weather permitting, a variety of groups will soon be gathering in backyards or cul-de-sacs, patios and driveways, in miniature worshiping communities made up of CtK members and friends. For some, this will augment their continued online experience, while for others, this may end up being their primary worshiping community. And that’s just fine. Not all the groups will gather as long or as often as one another, nor on the same days of the week. That’s okay, too.
The idea here is to have a flexible and varied set of worship opportunities for CtK-ers, each one grown and cultivated among the group, according to the needs, the availability, and the gifts of the group itself. The CtK Worship Team—pastors, musicians, and other staff and volunteers—will provide resources each week to help groups check in with each other, hear and discuss God’s word, perhaps even to share communion (either on their own or with a visiting pastor), and then be blessed on their way again. A few pilot groups are up and running already, and others are now forming. We hope that this gives some balance between needing to stay apart and getting to be together, as well as between gathering online and in person. We expect that groups can get a least a few meetings in before the weather turns too wintery.
If you are interested in finding out more, please check out the basic HGW outline of resources on our webpage by clicking here. These will be updated frequently, adding additional songs that can be played right from the website either for listening or singing along), plus Bible readings that coordinate to the weekly lectionary, and other video and audio tools for reflection and discussion. If you’re ready to join a group—or even to form your own!—an online sign-up form can also found here.
Though we may be apart for now, we are together for good!