Update from Rev. Joel

Church has become a “virtual” experience as we stay with a healthy distancing during this pandemic. I’m grateful we have this technology to keep connected, supporting each other, and find new ways to show up for justice work. I’m also grateful to the church’s staff for being so adaptable and creative while we are a virtual church.

Allison Hall has added congregational communications to her job description – and that includes everything from setting up Zoom meetings, welcoming folks to our virtual coffee hour on Sundays, assisting with worship services, and organizing overall communications for the church.

Kathy Smith is creating new ways of supporting families with religious education programming, including frequent mailings for children so that they continue to have that needed physical connection with church. Melissa Washington, our childcare coordinator, has been supporting Kathy in this outreach to families.

Jennifer Hirstius is doing bookkeeping remotely and has quickly set-up new ways for members and friends to contribute online or by phone app.

Leah Hartman has been so creative in the background of our work and in bringing music into our virtual worship.

Trey Davis has worked very hard to bring the voices of our choir together by combining their voices virtually.

Nathan Ryan has been reaching out to everyone in the congregation and has been working with our volunteers to be sure everyone is contacted and is doing well.

And in addition to staff, our Worship Associates and musicians are an important part of our learning how to create Sunday services through recording and live streaming.

There are many others in the congregation who are also being very creative and flexible in this time of doing virtual church. Thank you all for your ministries in this extraordinary time.

As a congregation, too, you continue to show up for each other and the larger world. I’m seeing how virtual church is reaching members who weren’t physically able to come to church before, but are now attending regularly because of all that is available online. And I’m seeing new people attending now that distance or ability to travel has been overcome by our online availability. I hope that whenever we are able to relax this distancing that we will continue to offer this level of “virtual” access to the church. We’re showing up in new ways and bringing ministry to even more people through our online presences.”

Our building remains closed, but continues to provide housing for Ochsner employees who are providing childcare to their staff.