All Saints-Portsmouth and Christ Church-Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID.

All Saints-Portsmouth and Christ Church-Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID. 150 150 Connect the Dots!

All Saints, Portsmouth and Christ Church, Ironton virtually connect for worship during COVID

By the Rev. Sallie Schisler

In March, when it became apparent online worship was going to be a reality, All Saints didn’t have clergy in place. Since I was doing services for Christ Church, I approached the Senior Warden at All Saints and offered to co-host both parishes through the rest of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

With the help of All Saints’ staff, we incorporated music and lectors from both congregations. We learned as we went, but our two groups gathered early or stayed after the service and got to know one another. Even after Diocesan resident Paul Bennett arrived, we agreed to continue worshiping together. Paul and I took turns officiating and preaching.

While most people would lump the Appalachian churches together, our two congregations have very different styles and personalities. Over the years, in spite of a small distance between the congregations, there has been no connection.

We knew this was a success when one Sunday a participant wanted to know WHEN we could all gather to celebrate our experiment. So far, that day hasn’t come, but when it does, there will be some warm hugs and a sincere sharing of the peace.

We’re prejudiced, but we believe we should get the big dot award for super connection in uncertain times.