(UPDATED with access link below. From now on this will appear at the top of our webpage Monday through Friday. We cannot send individual invitations.)
Starting tomorrow, and for the next three weeks, we will begin live webcasting of Daily Morning Prayer, Monday through Friday, at 9am Eastern Time, for up to 25 participants, in addition to our printed services.
Our excellent volunteer staff of Deacons and Subdeacons, as well as our Grantwriting Committee led by our Missioner, Dr. Maria L. Evans of the Diocese of Missouri, tested the technology last week and found it useful and exciting. It does wonders to bring us together as a worshiping community, seeing and hearing each other as we pray. Now we are inviting you to join us.
For a trial period these next three weeks, we will post access information at the top of each day’s Morning Prayer. Just click on the URL (web address) to join us via desktop and laptop, iPad or smartphone. (Free apps are available for download.) The Vicar will lead the service live with other Ministers of the Day.
At the end of three weeks we will compile your feedback and decide whether to make this a permanent offering. I expect we will, based on our preliminary tests. A big question will be what level of webcast service to buy, at what price level. (We can accommodate 25 participants at a group rate of $49 a month, or 100 participants for $99 a month, paid by our site from your general donations.)
You don’t have to pay anything. You don’t have to commit to coming every day. You don’t have to do anything at all – but we’re hoping you’ll give it a try.
What we’ve learned is that being able to see and hear each other transforms our experience of praying the Office; it makes us a real church, without walls, where we start to know each other and grow together as disciples of Christ.
I can barely describe my delight the first time Deacon Lani and I read the Psalms responsively – the first time I saw Clint live and in person – or got to welcome Alison from our Facebook group. The prayer transaction stopped being “me, alone with God” (who’s silent, of course), and started being “God and us.” We were “two or three gathered together” at last.
For 49 bucks a month, we can’t afford not to do this. The question will likely be, how many of you want to get in on this?
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and our fixed start time will mean we can’t accommodate everyone’s schedules. But get this: we will record our service, and once we’re done you can play it back whenever’s convenient for you.
You’ve heard of video on demand; this will be something like that – not the same as live streaming from a cathedral, but something more intimate and personal, where you can see and hear us online, and add your Amens.
I’m sure many of you will have technology questions, but the application is intuitive, so we’ll gather a few minutes early each morning to walk you through it. At 9am Eastern, I’ll hit the Record button, then hit Stop after the final blessing.
I’ll serve as worship leader at first, while others will be readers and intercessors. At times other worship leaders, experienced laypeople, will take over. We’ll never ask you to read a lesson sight unseen, or try to embarrass you in any way. It will be peaceful and fun, as we follow the printed service (including artwork and occasional videos) onscreen. When we have a bishop, priest or deacon among us, we’ll ask them to lead the final blessing. Come as you are, with coffee, kids and cats.
Let me end with a story. Once upon a time, everyone in the village would walk to the parish church for daily Morning and Evening Prayer. The Vicar would read, the People would say Amen, then they’d leave for work or school or home.
That was hundreds of years ago, once upon a time. We don’t live in villages anymore. We drive cars, we ride buses and bikes and trains, we hop planes; we’ve got places to go. Life is much faster now – though our need for prayer hasn’t lessened at all.
Many parish churches have quit offering daily prayer, because nobody can get there, we’re all commuting. Now, thanks to technology, you can pray during your commute. This is one more reason God invented the internet, so we can talk to each other across generations, denominations, time zones and tribes; so we can tell each other what God has done for us, and what God wants us to do for others.
I can’t wait to introduce you to Lani and Clint, Letha and Cody. I can’t wait for them to meet you. The Holy Spirit reveals God to us in other persons; that’s how the Greatest Story gets told.
Let me repeat: we will continue to publish the same service, on the same screen, you’ve enjoyed up to now. The only change is that if you can make it live, we’ll pray together better than ever before, better than on any other site.
Unlike a static website, we are live, just like Jesus is live. Come join us starting tomorrow, 9am Eastern, 6am Pacific.
Pray the Daily Office every day for 60 days, and you’re bound to get closer to God.
Founder & Lay Vicar
P.S. The comments are open; let ‘em rip.
Tuesday Morning Prayer
1. Please join Morning Prayer 11.19.13, a few minutes before 9AM Eastern, 6AM Pacific Time.
2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended for best sound. Or call in using your phone.
United States: +1 (630) 869-1013
Access Code: 777-786-221
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting