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So today was the day of the Vicarage getting up to speed with tech. The Vicar and I are  already fairly comfortable with technology – we both blog and tweet and have Facebook accounts. We’ve uploaded videos online before and we can populate a website. Perhaps the advantage of our backgrounds in engineering – we’re not scared by machinery.

Because now church is going mostly online – there will be no Sunday services or midweek meetings for the foreseeable future. And so we’ve had a big day of pretty fast learning. We had to get a church YouTube account, we’ve been drafting blog pages and we’ve been getting our heads round Zoom and finding out about Facebook Live.

The plan is also to record and broadcast a daily prayer service at the times we’d usually host our Open Church. So people will be able to connect when they might normally come in for tea and toast. And we’re going to broadcast a morning service live on Sundays. And we’re hoping to run youth Bible studies and prayer meetings and maybe even some toddler and kids work over the internet too.

We’ve also found a telephone service which is accessed through dialling in, so people who don’t have the internet will be able to listen to a short message or a sermon over the phone. And we’re going to deliver leaflets with details around the parish and service sheets to those we think would like to join in with the services. And of course we’re making lists and aiming to phone people up and contact them individually throughout the week too.

Phew.

And I’ve been having to remind myself that this Sunday is just the start of an extended time of doing things differently. So we can adjust and improve as time goes on, but hopefully start in some sort of helpful way.

The old joke made to vicars is that they only work one day a week. And now of course the joke will be that they don’t have anything to do at all. But actually what is happening is that the week long work is changing and there are steep learning curves being climbed by gospel ministers here in the UK and all over the world as they develop ways of pastoring through this pandemic. Pray for us – for videographic mercies, for photocopying grace and for our bandwidths on Sunday morning.

 

exponential learning

Graph of time vs clergy competence in tech since last week

 

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It’s been a busy Vicarage Sunday with the treat of special visitors to add to the usual joy of meeting with the saints. We’ve seen the Joker’s godparents, who brought much cheer and their lovely 18 month old, and former Ministry Trainee Rocky, with Bee and their gorgeous 15 month old, with encouragements from their parish in the next tow-un. So now we’re collapsed with our tea and some telly, smiling and slightly exhausted.

So tonight’s blog is just this great new Bible overview video for kids. The Vicar is thinking of using it for assembly tomorrow!

The Big Story from The Gospel Project | LifeWay on Vimeo.

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If you have been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know we are fans of Seeds Family Worship here in the Vicarage, especially their kinetic typography videos. I just came across a couple of new videos they’ve done. Maybe not quite as fancy as the early ones, but still brilliant for teaching memory verses – at home, in Junior Church or Kids Club, in school assembly or even with the full church family on a Sunday.

The first one is John 16:33 – Take heart

 

And the latest production – just out this week- is Hebrews 4:12 – The Word of God

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And here’s the Easter spoken word video from Glen Scrivener, courtesy of 10ofThose. A wonderful reminder that Jesus is the Bread of Heaven who fully satisfies:

Our week of special events this Easter finishes with a Feast for All Nations – a celebration service followed by a meal of international food. We are praying that the whole week will help all our neighbours to know that:

This bread is sweet…

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Spotted this excellent Easter meditation yesterday, with the starting point of considering a Creme Egg (which I know that a good number of people will be doing over the next few weeks). Delivered by Dave Crofts of Christ Church Central in Sheffield. Think this might get a showing in one of our services before Easter.

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Glen Scrivener has produced another great spoken word piece this Advent. Christmas in Dark Places reminds us that:

He took on our frailty, he took on all comers

To turn all our winters to glorious summers.

Such a fantastic reminder as I gaze out on our bleak and misty winter churchyard, looking like a scene from Great Expectations. You can download the mp4 for use too.

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This morning UCCF have launched a spoken word video for Advent and Christmas – great animation and words with a gentle challenge. Another option for your Christmas services, along with Someone is Coming and Joseph.

 

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