The following entry was submitted to the Jerusalem Awards ‘Social Networking’ category, and and we have just been informed that we have been shortlisted. Ceremony will be 15th October.
‘Online Praise’, created by members of the BIGBible Project community, offers ‘Church Services Online: By friends, for everyone”, with a stated aim of “this service is to help people to celebrate online the good news of Christ, support people who for whatever reason cannot get to a church service at significant times of the year, and also to show how digital media can be used in worship.” Services have been run Christmas and Easter since 2011, with material provided by members of the community, frequently as new material, although the original expectation (and some of the material) is simply linked to inspiring and appropriate material online.
The 2014 Easter service looked like it wasn’t possible, but was put together at very short notice, drawing upon relationships that had already been developed over previous years. Songs, poems, Bible focus, and sermon were all provided, with a focus on allowing a simple opportunity to worship ecumenically together, wherever we are geographically located, and regardless of disability. The focus built around a sermon provided by Rev Canon Stephen Cherry, who had provided material as part of #BIGRead14. Material is uploaded to a simple WordPress site, with timed posts set up, with each section of the material also automatically shared via Twitter and Facebook, so that participants can provide responses as they feel called.
Around 1000 views occurred on the day, US, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, Australia, UAE, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Jersey, Germany, Spain, Nigeria, Malaysia, Phillipines, Bahrain, Turkey and Ukraine. Around 50 people participated throughout the live service, with others visiting afterwards as the material remains online at: http://onlinepraise.wordpress.com/category/easter-2014/.
We received positive feedback, including a couple of particularly encouraging comments from someone receiving cancer treatment, and friends overseas.
Bex, thanks so much for organising the online Easter Service. It has been especially meaningful & helpful this year. Easter Sunday has sadly turned out to be my worst day for health so far; I only surfaced to let the dog out, feed him and let him out again until 4-4.30. But since then I have been enjoying the service greatly, and it has been a major spiritual uplift. Bless You :-)
I am worshipping with my friends in England again with #EasterMeans Thanks @drbexl and @bigbible http://onlinepraise.wordpress.com/category/easter-2014/ … #heisrisen