It's not about how we do church online but why & when we should or should not do it
Jonas Kurlberg has written a theological reflection on Online Worship Services on Medium: "In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a boom in online services as thousands of churches around the world are turning to digital solutions in order to continue their regular worship. I suspect that most of us have been inundated with invitations on our social media feeds to join livestreamed services these last weeks...
Matthew Pulis, a graduate of the MA in Digital Theology, reflected on the Pope's Urbi et Orbi event on Medium: "As the Bishop of Rome walked by himself in the empty square of the Vatican, the world stopped. It stopped because the human heart felt for that old frail man struggling to walk in the adverse weather making his way up to the seat to celebrate a liturgy in the same square, from the same passage, which normally would have seen him flooded (and even pulled) by people to grab his attention..."
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Pete Phillips has been blogging on both Medium and the Premier Digital Blog.
When churches first started livestreaming, Pete wrote a blog advocating a community model rather than a broadcast model and giving some tips on creating worship online...The image of the vine represents the community which forms the body of Christ, the Church, in John 15...
Also on Medium, Pete published an article exploring some key texts in the multi-decade existence of research around the Online Church
"First of all, congratulations to all those churches up and down the breadth of the country whose pastors, ministers and lay-people have stepped out of their comfort zones (and certainly out of the offline church zone) and set up online expressions of Church over the last two weeks. You are all marvellous...Many have seen increased congregations... Many have experienced ... growth... Many have felt the presence of their God online."
Pete published an update on his thinking around Online Church during the COVID19 Crisis:
"Yesterday, I had the joy of leading a postgraduate seminar at Wesley House in Cambridge for the Postgrad Tutor there, Dr Andrew Stobart. When the students headed into breakout rooms in Zoom, Andrew and I began to discuss the new phenomenon of online expressions of church and the varying patterns what we had seen. The seminar was based on a lecture I wrote sometime ago published in Holiness Journal: Wesley's Digital Parish
Pete wrote this reflection on why some churches are seen as problematic contagion zones for the virus,
The other day I was asked by a journalist about whether I thought churches were a particular problem for COVID19 infection. I was taken aback by the question because my own assumption was that the church in the UK was doing a fantastic job of going online...