Disciple: To Zoom or Not to Zoom
The people of St. Mark’s, Huntersville, gather online for a Seder meal. Photo by Kelly Pope
One of the “side effects” of the coronavirus pandemic has been the discovery—or expansion—of our use of video conferencing as part of the new normal. Much ink already has been spilt about the pros and the cons of this new modality. As we look ahead to a time when we can begin to move about more freely and gather for worship and other opportunities for in-person fellowship and contact, I wonder what we are learning about this way of communicating that may come in handy even after we are able to meet again in person, and about how and when to continue using this tool.
EMBRACING THE DUAL MODALITY
These are the challenges that await us and are even now on the horizon. What will it look like to have people at church and people on Zoom as part of our Sunday morning liturgy?
AN INCARNATIONAL CONNECTION
There is a well-known hymn, the title of which is antiquated and uses language that we would not use today: “Once to Every Man and Nation.” But it contains the line “[n]ew occasions teach new duties.” This is such an occasion. The time is right to open up the conversation, to open our hearts to the movement of the Holy Spirit, and to reconsider the limits of our sacramental understanding in light of the limitlessness of God’s grace. The time has come, the moment is now, to open up the Church to such possibilities and to consider the full potential of the gift we have been given that is at the heart of our identity as a sacramental and incarnational Church.
The Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman is the XII Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina.