Online Church is new way to Worship

By McIvor Times

John Robertson and Bron Jones have been living in Heathcote for around 20 years and also run the local Uniting Church. 
When COVID-19 restrictions first came about, the Church was significantly impacted, and Bron stated, “one week we were thinking how to go about social distancing, and then the next week we weren’t allowed to come to Church.”  
Bron didn’t want COVID-19 to stop the Church from worshipping; however, John and Bron didn’t know anything about Facebook Live, until they saw a Facebook Live from Amanda Collins via her Ukulele group and realised how easy and a great way to stream Church via Facebook live. 
Bron and John first started with people from their Church viewing the live streaming, and then word got around, and now they have 51 followers. 
Bron stated, “We also have a dozen people from the Uniting Churches around Emu Flat and Tooby who are also following us. “ 
It has grown from 12 to 51 since the restrictions first came into effect. 
Bron stated, “When we first started streaming via Facebook live I thought, how am I going to sit in an empty church talking to an iPad, it’s going to feel strange, but didn’t. I felt a sense of connection, and we can see who is connected and peoples prayer requests.” 
John stated, “When we see people who have joined in the session, we welcome everyone personally, and give them and us a sense of connection.”
The Uniting Church generally have around 12 watching the live stream and everyone else views the stream at a later date. 
The Uniting Church will continue with the online presence, even when the restrictions ease, as it seems to be easier to touch more people as not everyone can come into the building. “We don’t want to lose our members if we stop the online streaming,” John said. 
The Uniting Church has daily online reflections, and it all started with this year’s Easter reflections.
Around 40 people watch the daily streams, and 73 videos have already been posted. 
The Uniting Church is a great way to connect with the community and have a sense of belonging. 
If anyone is interested in joining the Uniting Church Facebook pages, please send a friend request to “Heathcote Uniting Church” and then either John or Bron will send you a link to their Home Church page.” By: Tanya Brnjak