From Facetime with school teachers to livestreaming worship services, we’ve all been doing whatever it takes to carry on in this new age of social distancing. So many church services started using Facebook Live for the first time in the past couple of weeks they crashed the system. FB apparently didn’t see that coming but they have worked hard to get those archived videos back up. I’ve seen so many posts about how to participate in worship from home as well. Getting up and getting dressed is helpful for working from home and on Sunday morning. If you sing, clap, read along in your Bible and shout “Amen!” it makes worship a group activity and not just a spectator sport.
I’ve been blogging for over a decade and posting sermon audio to our church website for the past three or four years. “Whatever it takes” for me includes being backwards compatible. Our core group of senior citizens are not what you would call websavy. I didn’t want them to be left out when we stopped meeting together and everything went online only. So I did something I had never done before: I started recording my sermons on cassette tape. I found a portable cassette player at the church that runs on 4 AA batteries. And discovered that in our sound equipment room there is dual tape deck wired into the sound system. I have been the pastor since 2014 and as far as I know that machine has never been turned on during that time. It works great, pulling the feed in directly from the mixer. I have always known about the six or eight blank cassettes in my office desk drawer, just didn’t figure I would ever need them for anything. So as I preach now to an empty sanctuary I still record a .wav file with my phone that I later upload to unitybaptist.church but I also make a cassette tape that our seniors can pass around.
I showed our 10-year-old the cassette on Sunday morning and asked her if she knew what it was. She did not. I explained that it’s like a CD but you can’t select which track you want to listen to, the sound quality is not as good, and you can only replay it so many times before it destroys itself. She said “What’s a CD?”