This is so hard to not be together! But we are doing what we must. Continue to make good decisions and we will soon be together again. In the meantime, we meet "virtually" for worship. But we've had technical glitches, and I want to update you on that.
A week ago, for the first time, we closed our building and offered worship via livestream only. We had a couple hundred households watching, which was very encouraging. But apparently, with every church in our time zone livestreaming at around the same time, we all basically crashed the internet. (Not really, but that's the easiest way to say it.) So a number of our people couldn't watch and were discouraged at a time when we need to be encouraging each other!
I wanted to offer an improvement for the following week, so we changed to a tried and true platform used by hundreds of thousands of people every week. It not only offers live chat and live prayer, but it also gave us the ability to record our service Saturday night so that when we "went live" with it Sunday morning, we wouldn't be as dependent on the broadband limitations. We did a test run Friday night and it worked well. But then, Sunday morning, for some fluke of a reason, the platform experienced some outages that affected us considerably. The most that were able to watch at any time was around 60. So discouraging. And again, it was out of our hands.
But I am told that they have fixed the problem! And I am asking for your help this evening in confirming that! So we are going to "go live" with yesterday's worship service at 7pm tonight. Let's worship together. Go to sarasotacommunity.online.church. See you there.
We continue to mourn with the Christner family following Marge's passing. We are restricted in how we can show our care, but please keep praying for them. We were also notified of Martha Eberly's passing last week. She and Ben had been members here while he was the director at Sunnyside Village. We send our condolences to Ben and the family.
If you have any specific needs, please email Shirley Good at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to contact any of the pastoral staff as needed. Dennis Bontrager is at email@example.com. And Liz Lane is at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are eager to connect with you however we can.
Praying for love, joy, and peace to fill your home!
Pastor of Sarasota Community Church since 2009.