Rev.  Jan Bihl
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Change and Transition

“Good morning,” we say to our masked neighbour to whom we just motioned that it’s OK for him to join us in the elevator. “Good morning,” he says with a comment, spoken with what sounds like relief and enthusiasm, “We all have our vaccine passport now. The whole family!”

Well…you know how you can read something, you can hear it on the news, you can even converse about it in the elevator, but it doesn’t really sink in…until, for instance, you come face-to-face with your favourite waitress at your go-to restaurant, who, mini-iPad in hand, calmly says “Vaccine passports please.“

Well, this was us on Monday morning - fumbling with our phones, tapping and swiping and sighing…until we finally found the BC services card app and went through the  access Olympics to get to Health Gateway, then into and out of the app, and over to Safari where, with one final tap, presto, there was the vaccine passport! Our waitress was very gracious, even helping us with additional steps to streamline the process for next time. A God-moment for sure. 

Such was our “beyond hearing, reading, and talking” initiation into the new world of mandatory vaccine   passports. Now we get it...

The times, they are a-changin’ for sure. And 60 years after Bob Dylan wrote/sang the song,  we are experiencing change at an unprecedented rate. Beyond books, workshops, newscasts, and elevator conversations. 

Well, Sunday, September 19th, we will offer our first in-person worship (for those who wish) in almost exactly 18 months. For many, this is what you have been waiting for!

But/and as we plan for this first in-person worship, it is abundantly clear that we are not going “back” but rather we are going “forward”...with what is called hybrid worship that is experienced in-person in the Sanctuary while at the same time being video recorded, while also at the same time being streamed through YouTube so that people at home can tune in in real time at 1:30pm and participate virtually from wherever they are. And…after the worship has concluded, the video will be uploaded to our website and people can watch it On Demand anytime thereafter.

The thing is, after consulting with knowledgeable people*,   reading all the regular Covid protocol info sent from the Pacific Mountain Region (no elevator conversations yet, but I’m sure that’s coming?)...even after a run-through with our amazing tech team, I don’t think we will really “get it” until we walk through the Sanctuary doors, wearing masks, having sanitized our hands…and, along with the opening music, the Holy Spirit is invoked…and the camera begins to roll.  Yes…the camera. It will not be just our local band of disciples gathering for in-person worship. It will also be people joining from their laptop, desktop, tablet, phone…at the same time.. The congregation will extend well beyond the walls. 

This will be new for many of us.
Thankdfully, the Holy Spirit will be there to lovingly help each of us and all of us.

Grace, Peace, and Joy,
Rev. Jan

 

*see  the August 2021 Broadview Magazine interview with Rev. Andria Irwin, digital ministries expert for Pacific Mountain Region  HYBRID