Interim Church – Where to from here
Thank you all for your flexibility as we’ve had to make several changes to the way we worship and meet together over the last few months. At the moment we are in the middle of Interim Church – a worship service that looks a little different from the service we were offering this time last year. There are a few things that make Interim Church, Interim Church:
- It’s geared towards streaming, so people can watch from home.
This means leaving space for a camera in the chapel and having fewer people on stage, so that we fit everyone on the screen.
- It fulfils social distancing requirements:
We’re taking attendance every week (as directed by SA Health), directing people with sore throats, coughs, headaches or fevers to stay home, using pre-packaged communion, keeping 1.5m between people, cleaning the facilities thoroughly, avoiding congregational singing and tea and coffee and assigning a COVID Safe Marshal to each of the gatherings and events at the church.
- It uses fewer volunteers.
We wish we didn’t have to do this, but we’ve quickly learnt that when you ask everyone with a cough or a sore throat to stay home, it’s far more likely that we’ll have volunteers call in ‘sick’ at the last minute. As such, we are using fewer volunteers (smaller music teams, no ushers or communion helpers etc.). This means we have fewer people to ‘change out’ in the case of illness
- It’s ready to switch to online only.
We very much hope it doesn’t come to this, but we know it is possible that Adelaide could head back into a lock down. If that happens, we’re ready to go back to online only at a moment’s notice. We’ve kept the order of service simple and as engaging as possible for at-home viewers for that reason.
Interim Church will continue for as long as we are required to social distance in South Australia. We don’t know how long this will be, but we are aware it could be for a while. However, I don’t necessarily see this as a negative. We’re constantly exploring new ways to make Interim Church as engaging and life giving as possible while fulfilling the above requirements. It’s an exciting time of experimentation, as we explore new ways to encounter God together in the midst of social distancing.
Worship music, Tea and Coffee
Sadly, SA Health is now advising us to avoid congregational singing and serving tea and coffee after a service. We’ll miss these two central elements of our meeting together on a Sunday morning and can’t wait for the time when we can restart them. In the meantime, we’re looking to make the most of the situation. It’s a great opportunity to remember why we sing – to draw our attention to God in worship – and why we share in tea and coffee – to catch up with and support old friends and meet new ones. Even without congregational singing and hot beverages, we can worship and connect. We invite you to be a part of this – to come along Sunday ready to worship and ready to connect. It will look different to before, but who knows, we might even discover a depth and significance that surprises us.
In order to satisfy social distancing requirements, we have been using pre-packaged communion for the last couple of months. We’re aware that some of our members find the taste of this communion less than entirely ideal. We wish this wasn’t the case, but unfortunately it is the price we have to pay to be able to practically share in communion together at this time. If the taste is a significant hurdle for you, you are very welcome to bring along some juice and a cracker from home.