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23 August 2020: Let us ZoomA large smiley face

Today I led my first Sunday Special service on Zoom. I spent a lot of time yesterday using three different computers in our study for a dummy run. I wanted to make sure that the screen sharing worked as I expected. We have a standard Sunday Special presentation, with weekly variations, that in normal circumstances we would project on the screen in the church hall. While we are using Zoom the leader “shares” the presentation with the other worshippers. At a few points in the service we have to switch back to the normal view, eg while children are showing work they have done during the week.

Our church’s Director of Music acted as co-host so I didn’t have to keep an eye on the “waiting room” all the time. He and his wife led a couple of the songs and another church member led a couple of others. I was concerned that I hadn’t checked with the Director of Music that the words of one of the songs was what he and his wife were expecting but she said “No worries. I’ll sing whatever you show onscreen.”

On this occasion one of our regular Sunday Special families joined us from the dad’s parents’ house, where they are on holiday. His parents joined the service as well from a different computer.

This was my last Sunday Special service. My wife and I, together with our then Rector, started them about eight years ago. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, or at least they were doing so before the lockdown started and we switched to Zoom. We are now stepping down from leading Sunday Special services and will concentrate on supporting a younger generation of leaders as they take over.

What we did not expect was that our curate should have contacted all the families and persuaded them to prepare large “Thank you” cards, which they all proudly displayed.