Christ Church Ironton

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.

Two River Cities Congregations Join Forces to Spread the Gospel

Two River Cities Congregations Join Forces to Spread the Gospel 150 150 Connect the Dots!

Two river cities congregations join forces to spread the Gospel

By the Rev. Sallie Schisler

All Saints, Portsmouth is without clergy, the people of Christ Church, Ironton approached them about joint services. Little did they know that COVID 19 would direct, challenge and create a new community of online worshipers. Since Palm Sunday, the two congregations/communities have worshiped together on Sunday’s through Zoom and have offered Facebook live stream services of daily Evening Prayer and Compline. To see the cross pollination of people in worship, the appreciation for the services, the dedicated attendance.

This isn’t what we had in mind for Connect the Dots, but “two congregational dots” have created a vigorous well attended connection…which was the primary intent of this marvelous effort. Both congregations have met and exceeded their pledge commitments, which seems to point to a sign of health.