Congregations have embraced numerous ways to stay connected over the past year. What more can we do? What could help small and rural congregations, particularly those who are struggling? The Rural Connect program responds the need for support expressed at to General Council 43. Through the use of professional quality equipment, a hub location and up to three satellite locations can join together in live, interactive worship. St. Mark’s, Cannifton, is the first “hub” congregation in ECORC. You can watch a promotional video at this link. Each satellite uses a self-contained, “plug-and-play”, Audio/Visual box containing
- Video camera,
- Wireless microphones and speaker,
- A Cisco controller, and
- A high-speed cellular data connection.
The box gets around a number of technology challenges faced by small/rural congregations. No other equipment or internet connection is needed. Connecting the satellite to the hub is like dialing a phone call; once connected, the box can be controlled from the hub. The program has proven particularly helpful for communities of faith and clergy in part-time calls/appointments. For example, clergy are better able to manage competing demands by knowing that on the first and third Sunday, worship planning and leadership will be curated by the hub church. Yet, clergy don’t lose the important “face-time” with their congregation as they can lead some parts of worship from their location, and enjoy after-worship fellowship (when allowed again).
Please use the form below to indicate your interest in receiving more information about the Rural Connect in ECORC.