In This Issue
- Weekly message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Weekly Facebook video
- Outreach Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
Dear St. Luke family,
Just about the first report I received upon returning from my vacation was that online worshipers experienced problems with sound quality this past Sunday. That’s a shame, because about the second report I received was that guest preacher Sharon LeClaire’s sermon was excellent. (The sermon is posted on stlukepres.org and you can listen to it here.) Rest assured that Beth Potillo-Miller, Erich Miller, and I are working towards a better-quality online worship experience.
Currently, attending worship in person remains the best solution to the audio-visual problems we’ve experienced with hybrid worship. Due to the aggressive Delta variant, Marin County has joined a regional movement recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face coverings when indoors in public places to prevent spread of COVID-19. For the time being, St. Luke joins with Marin County in recommending but not requiring face coverings in worship. Ultimately, a decision about requiring masks belongs with Session. Look for Session’s decision about this in the near future.
Don’t forget that Session approved a plan that includes one Sunday a month with in-person worship only – no Zoom – to give our Zoom engineers a much-needed break. The plan is that worship will be in person only on the second Sunday of each month, beginning next week, August 8.
We will continue to work to improve our online worship. It will not happen overnight. We are in the process of buying and replacing equipment. Adding equipment means some trial and error. As long as Zoom is our worship platform, there will be connectivity issues outside of our control. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Zoom was never intended as a “performance” platform for music, multiple cameras, and multiple microphones. It was designed for meetings. For these reasons, we are looking into other platforms that have fewer quality issues. We will keep you posted, but remember, please, that our hybrid worship problem-solving is being managed by volunteers with day jobs, and by me. Add “hybrid worship” to the list of the many things they didn’t teach us in seminary.
The things we don’t know how to do, things we can’t predict, things we don’t know about what other people’s lives look like, things that we think we know but it turns out we don’t: these remind us to be humble. The older I get, the more important I find humility to be. In this Sunday’s Scripture passage, we see how King David’s hubris impacted the lives of his subjects. It’s an old, old story that rings true today. As Abraham Lincoln put it (this is the quotation on our bulletin covers this Sunday), “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
See you on Sunday –
Grace and peace,