WhatsApp online services for Birchwood, Ludwick Way, and Oxlease, Sunday 22 March 2020


These online services are different. They are based on a form of worship for chatrooms, which worked well in the early days of the Internet - before we became obsessed with high-quality video and sold out to Facebook and Instagram. 

In most online worship, you sit and watch a screen and other people perform in front of you. For all the leaders know, you could be off making the tea.

In this style, you are part of the worship, in the same way that in face-to-face worship, there is a leader but you also join in at times. The way you join in is by typing short phrases or single words. 

  1. In responses - included in prayers, in Bible readings, in Psalms. When the leader types a word or phrase IN CAPITALS, then each person can (but doesn't have to) make a response. You could just type a full stop, like this: . Or you could type that word back in to send the message. We get a lot of identical messages flying past in a second or two, and we realise we are a larger congregation responding together.

  2. In free prayer. The leader will announce a time of free prayer. Type your own short phrase to indicate what you are praying for - maximum 2 or 3 words, and send the message. It will appear on everybody's screen, and then move upwards towards God as other people type.

  3. Sometimes the leader will ask you if you have any reaction to a reading, a hymn or a prayer. Once again, only type something in if you feel comfortable.

  4. Towards the end of the service, the leader will ask everyone who wants to, to type the words of the Grace - May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen. Everyone, just type that out and send it in phrases, at your own speed. That gives a third experience: typically it looks busy and then settles down to everyone saying "Amen" together.

There may well be pictures appear on your screen. If we can sort the tech out (technology has moved backwards in the last dozen years), there may also be sounds appearing.

And - this is a service of worship. Please don't use the group for general chat while the service is on - it's like shouting your gossip across the church building!