While it is tempting to think that physical distancing is pulling us apart, in some ways it is bringing us together.
Typical Sunday attendance has been hovering around 125-130 for both services over the last few years. The average monthly high is 140. Now there are 129 "subscribers" to the Prince of Peace YouTube channel. Last week's Palm Sunday YouTube broadcast of worship was viewed 282 times. 60% of viewers do not subscribe to the channel. These counts do not include multiple people watching from one YouTube account.
Over the last two weeks, the office has received text messages and emails from former members and friends that have moved away, but still feel close to Prince of Peace. Now they are able to actively worship with us again. We have really enjoyed hearing from those near and far that feel close even during difficult times. Most are advocating for continuing the live stream services into the future. It is nice to know the efforts are reaching people and bringing comfort under any circumstances.
It isn't just Prince of Peace that is finding more connection in these times. KQED Forum focused on COVID-19 effect on houses of faith during holy holiday weeks. Audience comments included those that had not been in a house of worship for years by choice, but appreciated the opportunity to worship on their own schedule.
Prince of Peace is seeing this as well. While the majority of worship views happen during the live stream, the viewing numbers continue to grow throughout the day and following weeks. Streaming worship is reaching people in unexpected and wonderful ways.
If you would like to here KQED story, click the link below.
KQED Radio feature (51 minute program)
by Anne Hess