By Ken Howard
(with Jim Papile)
As we continue our “Keeping Congregations Connected” series, faith leaders have begun sharing with the experiments they are undertaking to keep their congregations connected to each other and their communities in the face of the COVID crisis. So in the days and weeks ahead we are refocusing many of our FaithXperimental Spotlight posts on some of their innovative approaches as the crisis continues.
Today we are shining a Spotlight on the Rev. Jim Papile and a his recent COVID-”inspired” worship experiment that he calls Pajama Church.
Last Sunday, two small, local churches Jim serves came online together for the first time to read Morning Prayer.
As you may already know, the service of Morning Prayer is one of the regular forms of corporate worship in the Episcipal Church’s Book of Common Prayer that does not include communion.
“To say that it was a new experience for all of us,” says Jim, “is an accurate, and probably an obvious statement.” On the one hand, some people had trouble negotiating the web platform for the first time, some were not happy having to be in this unfamiliar place.
On the other hand, most people were very grateful. “We had a couple who joined us from the road, driving up 95 from Florida,” Jim reported, “We had several elderly folk who live alone that were especially thankful for the service, as they cannot get out of the house due to COVID 19. Hearing the voices of their friends was a huge help.” At the end of their time together, as they briefly reviewed their pajama church experience, Jim says one member commented that it was kind of nice to worship in my pajamas.”[Read more…]