The last four months have been a marathon, and as we head into August, a month where clergy, leaders and volunteers would typically be slowing down, the pace may not feel like it's letting up just yet. You may still want to continue your online services during the summer months as they've been instrumental in supporting your community, but how can you create some space to rest in August? 

Here are just a few ideas to lessen the load, while still maintaining your weekly online gathering: 

  • Watch the weekly Church of England online services together - Create a Facebook Watch party, or gather on Zoom and use the screenshare function to watch together. 

  • Pre-record short reflections and schedule ahead on YouTube and Facebook for each Sunday in August. Typically, attention spans are shorter when watching videos online, so consider shortening your services to reflect this. Some churches have reduced the length by more than 40%. 

  • Download the free hymns from the A Church Near You Resource Hub and use as part of the service online or in your building. Free to use, however you’ll need a CCLI streaming licence to share online.  

  • Look back at the videos from your services over the last few months. Are there any sections you can re-use this month? Use a video editor tool such as iMovie or Windows Video Editor to take clips from past services to use as part of a new one.  

  • Use the free weekly video reflections created by the Diocese of York, published mid-week on Twitter, for your sermon. Share the link on your church social media feeds, and email out to your community. Many other Diocese are continuing with online services during the summer months.

  • Join together with local churches and each take a turn to host an online service. 

  • Host Zoom coffee mornings instead of a service, invite different members of your community to share and pray. Use Zoom breakout rooms to make it easier for everyone to chat in a smaller group. 

  • Listen to a podcast series together. The Church is producing daily Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer audio. Find out more about Time To Pray and download the app here. 

  • Use content from one of our reflection plans for your August services, such as the Mental Health Resources or Faith at Home.  

Whatever you choose, communicate your plans with your community on social media, email, and update to your A Church Near You page or website, so they know how and when to join in.  

Additional resources

Look after yourself on social media. Read Rev Hayley Matthews tips for keeping healthy online. 

Finally, much of the content above is also available on DailyHope, a free phone line providing music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England. 

 

Do you have any more suggestions? Tag us on Twitter with your plans and we can add your ideas to the blog. 

 

Liz Morgan
Church Digital Champion

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Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digital-labs/blogs/create-some-space-august

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