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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Technology can connect

Congregations can use laptops to bring worshipers together

Streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu are changing people's TV habits, but the technology is also having an impact on worship. Megachurches now have satellite congregations with their own worship and leadership, but preaching by the lead pastor is streamed in from the main campus.

© istockphoto.com/sjlockeThis summer I presided at a wedding where the maid of honor couldn't attend because she was recovering from a lung transplant. The sister of the bride, she wanted desperately to be there.

Unbeknownst to the bride, we placed a laptop in her sister's hospital room and set up a video conference using Skype. When the bride came down the aisle , she was surprised to see her sister's smiling face from her hospital bed.

Opportunities to draw individuals into worship for life events are many. All you need at both ends is a laptop or iPad with a Web cam; the free Skype software; and a fast wireless or cellular connection. Skype is no replacement for being somewhere in person. But on certain occasions like this, it can create a foretaste of our great communion prayer, of when we gather as the church from all times and all places, that now can mean virtually as well.


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