Moving Forward on All Platforms

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” - Matthew 12:33

Dear Friends,

First, a word great thankfulness for some tremendous servant-leaders who have served Canonsburg UP Church on the Session and Board of Deacons these past years. Deacons Carolyn Libert, Sheila Thompson, Megan Watson, Tom Weaver, Jack Winter and Shawn & Julie Shuman as well as Elders Al Barker, Mike Blair, Noelle Briceland, Jamie Trainor and Colleen Yarbrough. How blessed we have been to have them serving and leading and I hope you will extend to them your thanks. This last year in particular, has been the most challenging year to be in leadership in the church, in possibly the last century! And yet, they have served with compassion and care, seeking God’s will and not just acting out of their own personal preferences. I’m grateful to have served alongside them, and I continue to pray God’s blessings on them as they step into new opportunities in our church.

Second, how great it was to be back, in-person for worship Sunday! To see so many faces that I haven’t been able to see. I’m sure if you joined us online, it was even encouraging to see other people in the pews, maybe even a few faces - more than just mine! And in an effort to create as safe an environment for our gatherings as possible, the Trustees have purchased a fogging disinfectant machine that will be used each Sunday between services!

And third, actually the heart of what I want to say, is that we are continuing to move forward, recognizing that even as we return to in-person gatherings of worship and small groups and ministry team meetings, we have to embrace new methods and new technologies. Our Session, Deacon and ministry team meetings are becoming hybrid, since some are unable to join in-person. With fits and starts, we’re integrating these features everywhere we can. And worship is top of that list.

It was two years ago, amid a wild snowstorm, that I pulled out my phone, set it on the front pew, and broadcast from the new Facebook feature, “Facebook Live”, our worship service. So many appreciated it, we had to keep it up. We moved the phone upstairs, then purchased a new camera and updated our sound, and more people tuned in. When the pandemic hit, we were able to seamlessly move online and provide a good worship service, live. Over the past year, we’ve been making updates to provide an even better experience for those who are unable, or not yet feeling comfortable gathering in the church for worship. And we’ve taken another big step because we’re now LIVE, not only on Facebook each Sunday, but on YouTube as well!

For some people, without Facebook, or who are uncomfortable with the platform, we expect this will be easier. We also believe this can help get the message out further, and help us live out our mission more effectively - and you can help with that!

We’re all aware of the drawbacks of Social Media - whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. We get it. But it’s important to note that if we disengage from these spaces, if we remove the light of the good news, then these spaces become even darker than they already are. Instead, we’d like to make a push to share the light of God’s love across every platform we can. Again, you can help with that!

I’m asking you to take 5 minutes and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. All you need is a Gmail or YouTube account. Even if you NEVER plan to watch us on YouTube, helping us get to 100 subscribers this week, will allow us to make our YouTube address simple, memorable and easily findable. By doing that, you’ll help share the good news of God’s love, through our live worship services, Kenton’s weekly concerts and other things we’re working on.

Thank you for Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus - through whatever platform is necessary!

Pastor Don

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