Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Sunday morning in Newberg was cold, with a lot of snow on the ground. On top of the snow was a 1/2″ layer of ice. The street in front of our house looked like a hockey rink right before the Zamboni comes out; bumpy, ice and snow chunks strewn across the top of a glazed surface. Sammie the cat ran out of the house ahead of me at about 6:50 am, and his paws broke through the ice crust, causing his legs to sink into the snow. This frightened him and he bumped and jumped out into and up the street.

I logged onto email, anticipating a message from North Valley. Sure enough, there was a message from Stan, announcing that there would be no Sunday morning worship service. I wondered if this might be the time to introduce an idea to Stan in regards to an online gathering. I have been using an online conferencing tool in my work as a distance educator and have been quite happy with the results in interacting with students who are not in the same geographic location through the use of this medium. I sent Stan an email and asked him if he might be interested in a trial. I sent him a link to the conference room, along with the password and log in instructions.

About 30 minutes later, Stan called me, he had made his way into the online space. I hung up the phone and joined him there. We tested out the text chat, voice feature and the whiteboard. Stan suggested we invite others to join us at 10:30. I sent out an email to the North Valley email list and invited others to join us. It was 9:30. I stayed in the room and over the next hour eight people joined me. By 10:30, we had a group of eight or nine and we worked out some technical difficulties. Stan made an introductory statement which asked us to consider the Manger, the Mystery and the Meaning of the Advent. He asked us to speak about which character in the story had been important to us as a child and what meaning did that character have for us now.

People began to speak, both through voice and chat. As people spoke, I was able to upload various pictures of the nativity into the space, and as best I could I selected pictures that corresponded with the comments that were being made by each speaker.  One picture that made a strong impression was Botticelli’s picture Mystic Nativity.

People continued sharing about various aspectes of the advent story. I also had the opportunity to share some Christmas music as well, by streaming music from my Pandora feed through the mike. Stan sent several poems, which we put up on the whiteboard, for all to see.

This was an impromptu meeting and we had no way to prepare. However, it was evident that those of us that gathered were prepared or at least in anticipation of hearing and learning. I was personally pleased that we had a meeting and I wonder what might happen if we do this again with fuller preparation.

I would not consider this meeting to be a substitute for our typical Sunday morning worship at North Valley. I would say though, that real meeting took place in the online space that we shared for an hour this morning.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Explore posts in the same categories: Faith, Technology, Uncategorized


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

One Comment on “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”

  1. Carol Campbell Says:

    I agree about it not being a substitute, but what an opportunity to reach out to others who might not otherwise step foot into a church. …friends, neighbors, family, etc..then, being comfortable in the company of the online group, they may feel comfortable at church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: