Over the summer, the Post-Pandemic Planning Committee, Worship Committee, Parish Council and members of the community worked to discern how we might gather as a community as the pandemic eased. We noted our concern for those left behind by Zoom and those who would be left behind without it. While there has been considerable buzz around streamed and recorded services, evidence suggests that such an approach is inconsistent with the needs of our community and our desire to be inclusive.
Thus starting September 12, 2021 some parishioners continue to worship online via Zoom, and others worship at the church building. If you are curious about what contributed to this design, or have more questions, read on!
- Zoom services fulfill a different pastoral need to to live streamed or recorded services. People, including those identified as likely to be potentially left behind by a return to in-person worship, told us they valued the relational and participatory elements of a Zoom-only service, including the opportunity to offer their own gifts and the number of people included in creating the worship experience.
- Members of our community have raised concerns about how recording or live streaming would affect their meaningful participation on-site, including from parents, and targets of harassment.
- Relatively few youth and young adults participated in Zoom services. Research suggests people this age are often looking for less surveilled spaces. [1-3]
- Those familiar with the sound and technology systems identified the need for a new rota of at least four volunteers to live stream or record. Some current audio-visual volunteers have indicated their reluctance to volunteer for streaming or video recording tasks.
- Financial costs to enable live streaming or recording ranged from $3,000-5,000.
Isn’t this a lot of extra work for staff?
Most Anglican parishes offer two services with parishioners typically attending a given service, but adjusting as scheduling or their needs change. So, this two congregation model is quite common.
What will happen to Zoom?
In the near future, Zoom and in-person services will remain quite similar, both offering a full service of the Word, music, and coffee hour. As the congregation worshiping on Zoom changes, the service might adapt. If you identify as someone for whom Zoom is likely to be your main service post-pandemic, and would like to help shape that future, the worship committee welcomes your input.
Isn’t this a lot of fuss when everything in my life is online anyway?
Both academic research and the lived experience of community members suggest that offering a service which is neither recorded nor streamed is desirable for many. Even if your lived experience means you do not have reason to be more cautious, more privacy-awareness in our community can help create safe spaces for everyone to explore and express their faith, be vulnerable, and grow.
 V. Steeves and J. Bailey, “Submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on The Right to Privacy Toward a Better Understanding of Privacy: Children’s Right to Privacy and Autonomy,” 2021. Accessed: Aug. 25, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://www.equalityproject.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Childrens-Right-to-Privacy-UN-Submission.pdf
 J. Bailey, “Online reputation, privacy and young people: Lessons from Canadian research (Invited submission to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics),” Ottawa, Ontario, Sep. 2017. Accessed: Aug. 25, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://www.equalityproject.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Online-Reputation-Privacy-and-Young-People-Lessons-from-Canadian-Research.pdf
 J. Bailey and V. Steeves, “Online Reputation, Privacy and Young People: Lessons from Canadian Research (Paper submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in response to its Consultation and Call for Essays on Online Reputation.),” Apr. 2016. Accessed: Aug. 25, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://www.equalityproject.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/01-Bailey-Steeves-Online-Reputation-Submission-FINAL-April-27-2016.pdf