Sermons that are memorable and have impact often rely on two tiny prepositions: “from” and “to,” the Rev. Dr. Tim Slemmons told a group of about two dozen preachers gathered online last week to participate in a webinar designed to help them improve their preaching.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the worship and arts staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis thought that probably meant shutting down much of their work as live worship was suspended.
Like with many congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), for the 90 or so churches in the Presbytery of Arkansas, worship is now a different experience than it was before the pandemic, the Rev. Stewart Smith said last week during an episode of the Synod of the Sun’s “SunSpots” podcast.
Each Sunday for the past few weeks, the Rev. Robert Felix has been giving parishioners at Chandler Presbyterian Church in Chandler, Arizona, real answers to honest questions. The way he goes about providing those answers — producing a short film each week based on a top faith question identified on Google Trends, then discussing the film and the question together — has proven to be an effective and innovative platform for, as he says, “figuring out how we share the gospel in Chandler and the world.”
Highlighting worship efforts during the pandemic ranging from high-tech and labor-intensive to one church’s “Call ‘Em All” telephonic approach, Thursday’s webinar on Hybrid Ministry: The Scattered Church was a balm for clergy and worship leaders who’ve struggled mightily with pandemic-induced issues including pastoral care, trauma and self-care.
Some of the best worship and most meaningful preaching the Rev. Landon Whitsitt has seen and heard during the pandemic has come from preachers and other worship leaders willing to share themselves in an authentic way with those attending the online services they’re creating each week.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” — Lamentations 3:22