An Open Table where Love knows no borders

Worship Services Moving Online

At a time when all of us are being urged to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing physical distancing and avoiding gathering in groups, churches are scrambling to work out how congregational life, prayer and ministry can be continued. Already some of our regular attenders have decided not to attend worship for the foreseeable future, and we recognised that most of those who might have continued to attend would be doing so with an onerous sense of uncertainty about whether they were doing the right thing. So the SYCBaps leadership group have decided to relieve our people of that by deciding to cease gathering at the church for worship, and instead to take our worship service online, which we will attempt to do beginning this Sunday, 22nd March.

Many churches around the world are simply closing down worship services completely, and most that are switching to online worship are simply live streaming a video of some people leading worship. It is all one-way, like watching a worship service on TV. For us though, the “everyone participating” nature of our worship is one of its most important features, and we want to try to maintain that. After some researching and a little experimenting, we think we have found a way to do it. It won’t be perfect. There will be glitches. It will at times be a bit clunky. But even its clunkiness can be quite amusing and fun, and we are pretty sure that it will work well enough to be a whole lot better than just having no worship and not much contact with each other for weeks and months. In the internet age, physical distancing doesn’t have to be social distancing.

We have no way of knowing how long it might be until we can resume gathering physically, so this might be in place for a while. Like any radical change, it will feel awkward at first and there will be things that we discover don’t work very well online that we will want to change. Hopefully it will start with a bearable and amusing level of chaos and confusion and then improve significantly week by week as we work it all out.

Click here for more information and details on how to get involved.


  1. Thank you Nathan and the Host Group for being so responsive and decisive on this issue.

    I am particularly impressed with the use of the terminilogy “physical distancing” rather than the alienating terminology “social distancing”. At a time like this we will need to maintain (develop) social interaction in new and meaningful ways.
    Maybe we need to consider daily “check-ins” so see that we are all OK?

    I am impressed with, and appreciative of the lack of procrastination on this issue.

  2. It was a real pleasure to be able to participate in an online service with participants around Melbourne and other parts of the world. At this time of uncertainty concerning COVID-19, we need to maintain our connection as a church and the wider community. Technology enables us to communicate but we must remember it is only the means and we need to move beyond appearing in a video conference to engaging with one another whether by phone, email and SMS to look after and look out for members of our church, family, friends and neighbours.

  3. It was great to participate in our first online worship service on 22 March 2020!
    It was wonderful to be able to see and hear everyone and participate in worship like we normally do. It’s definitely the next best thing to gathering together physically in the one spot! Having friends from overseas join us (from Sweden and Japan), and also others who haven’t been able to attend physically for a while was an extra bonus! I’m no computer expert, but I found it much easier than I thought. If you can touch a screen or press a button you can join us!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.