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As has already been announced, in-person worship has been paused as we seek to protect each other from risk of transmitting COVID during this third wave of the pandemic in Alberta. While we are sad not to gather in person again for now, we know this is important for the sake of our neighbour, and we know we can still nourish our spiritual lives through other means for the time being.

In the coming Sundays of online-only worship you will notice some changes to the pattern of worship that are adapted more to the online experience. For one thing, the service will be a bit shorter. I hope this will be a case of “less is more,” helping us focus on what is most essential: attending to God’s word of grace and offering back our prayers and praise. Fewer scripture readings will enable us to listen in a more concentrated way. The sermon will be brief (I hope!) Hymns will be minimal. The prayers will be shorter but with more silence for individual reflection and prayer. I would love to hear how you feel about these changes as you experience them. What did you notice? What felt good? What did you miss? Your feedback will help us to connect with God and each other in the most meaningful ways.

In addition to Sunday worship, I’m wondering about what other ways we could feed our souls through worship and prayer. What other practices would nurture your relationship with God? Here are some possibilities I’m thinking about:

  • a weekly time for drop-in communion
  • a weekly 15-minute online and phone-in morning or evening prayer
  • Sunday worship outdoors in the park – as weather and regulations permit
  • continued offerings of readings for daily prayer
  • seasonal Quiet Mornings of guided prayer and scripture reflection

Of these activities, what are you most likely to participate in? What else would you like to see happen?

I hope to sit down with our Worship and Music Committee within the next couple of weeks to plan for worship at Hope in the coming months. I hope you will take time to write me a short note in response to the questions above. Your input will help us plan.