Monday, October 6, 2014

Glitches, Grace, and a Generosity of Spirit

May  5, 1819
William Ellery Channing gave the revolutionary sermon Unitarian Christianity.
Due to his soft voice and the poor acoustics of the church, only the first three rows of folks could actually hear the sermon.

October 5 (and 6), 2014
The Church of the Larger Fellowship switches to their new online worship platform with Adobe Connect. It did not go smoothly. Some elements froze entirely, or went in fits and starts.

And yet, people stuck with it, and it truly felt like community.

Some elements I witnessed (watching quite passively as a congregant) that made it work:

*Clear reporting ahead of time—
  •   Why we’re switching to a new format
  •  What platforms were supported by Adobe, and what you might need to do ahead of time
  •  Recognizing that there might be glitches, and that leadership was committed to working with the vendor to fix things over the coming weeks.
  •  Asking membership to please share their experience of what did and did not work. Amazingly, those emails were to be sent to the senior minister, Meg Riley.

*Leaders logged in early and were available for level one tech support.

*Collaborative spirit— Soon enough congregants were joining in with their suggestions and what worked for them

*Personal responsibility and flexibility- some congregants, when one device/browser wasn’t working for them, made the effort to try another way, rather than shaking their heads and leaving

*Reminders that all the video segments would be on YouTube as well, so anything missed was not gone forever! (As I write this, I see links going up on Facebook, directing us to the segments that were hardest to hear/see.)

*And through all the chaos, the message was vitally important and people’s pastoral needs were still being met.

Kudos to the folks at Church of the Larger Fellowship. I look forward to what is to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment