I miss worshiping with you on Sundays where we can see each other face to face and worship in the same room. I pray that the current struggles will end soon and that we would be able to enjoy one another's presence as we worship together. I'm sure many of us feel the same way, and Easter would normally be a time where we greet one another in the church lobby with great joy and excitement. One may say, "He is risen," and another would respond with, "Risen indeed!" So, this Sunday, as we celebrate Easter, we're inviting the whole church family to join us in a virtual "lobby time" session via ZOOM before and after the service. Join the ZOOM meeting (Meeting ID: 863 334 938) by clicking here any time between 9:15-9:55AM on Sunday to see one another's faces and to greet one another. And you can come back to the ZOOM meeting right after the livestream service to enjoy fellowship and wish one another a happy Easter. We're looking forward to seeing your faces on ZOOM!
We are now heading into our 4th week of social distancing and not being able to physically gather on Sunday mornings. I've missed greeting people at the welcome tent, enjoying a cup of our church coffee (I'm partial to the Columbian blend myself), fellowshipping before and after the service, and gathering together at church for worship. On Tuesday, March 31st during the provincial COVID-19 update, Adrian Dix communicated that there was "zero chance" of lifting the province's current health orders of self-isolation and physical distancing throughout the month of April. He said it was unlikely that the orders would ease up in May as well.
I don't know if you had the same reaction as me, but my mind started racing with the implications of continuing social distancing and self-isolation until the end of May — at the very minimum. As my mind was racing, I was immediately drawn to Philippians 4:6-7: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I entered into a time of prayer and was filled with a sense of peace knowing that God is sovereign and in control and I can rest in the knowledge that He is at work despite the circumstances we find ourselves in during this season of life. I'm thankful that, as Psalm 18:2 declares, God is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer in whom we take refuge. I'm also thankful that although we can't physically gather, we are still able to connect and gather in an online context, especially on Sunday.
This past Sunday, we ran into some problems with our streaming platform. Church Online Platform shared that on March 29th there were a total of 20,258 church services streamed through their platform! Isn't that incredible. Despite the challenges we face on a global level, God is working in and through the church and the gospel is being proclaimed! Our plan moving forward is to continue using the streaming platform we have in place, but if we run into any tech problems in the future, by 9:30AM on Sunday morning, links will be replaced on our church website directing you to our Sunday morning online service through Youtube Live. After 10AM, the service will be accessible through our website and Vimeo.
I look forward to gathering together this coming Sunday for our online worship service! It's my hope and prayer that despite the incredibly challenging season of life we find ourselves in, that Proverbs 3:5-6 would be our reality: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." We are in this together South Delta Baptist Church, united in Christ.
This past Sunday we shifted to using a streaming platform for our Sunday morning service. Shifting to this streaming platform will allow us an opportunity to digitally gather together at 10AM on Sundays for a live stream of our morning service. The platform includes some unique features. We are able to connect via chat as a church community, request prayer from one of our digital service hosts, and engage in giving through a link at the top of the window. Most importantly, it brings us all together for our morning service to worship and connect in a digital format. The link for our live stream platform is https://southdelta.online.church/. This link will be easily accessible on the main page of our website and through all of our social media channels. We are looking forward to worshipping together on Sundays! And if you do miss our Sunday morning service, we will post the online service for anyone to watch following 10AM.
This past Sunday, due to COVID-19 mitigation strategies regarding public gatherings, online streaming services hit record breaking numbers across all platforms and sites, which caused a number of streaming problems. This week, internet providers and streaming platforms are working to bolster infrastructure in order to facilitate a smooth streaming experience for people. We noticed this past Sunday that our chat feature was not syncing properly and many people experienced lag. We also noticed some people were not able to make their screen go full size. We are hoping the chat feature will run smoothly this coming Sunday. For the full screen issue, you may need to first make sure that your browser window is full screen (not a smaller window) and then try hitting full screen in the streaming platform. That seems to be the best workaround. If you experienced any other problems, please email us as we continue to create a meaningful digital worship service.
We miss gathering together physically, but joining in our live stream on Sunday morning at 10AM provides a fantastic connection point for all of us as we move forward dealing with COVID-19 as a church. We are planning to open our chat feature at 9:45AM with a countdown and background music playing until the service begins at 10AM. After the service, the chat feature will remain open providing an opportunity for people to connect just like after church on a Sunday morning. We can't wait to worship with you this coming Sunday morning at 10AM!