Across the metroplex churches are preparing for one of the biggest services of the year. Only this time it will be without the physical presence of a congregation.
The praise team at Concord Church in Dallas spends hours practicing like they would for Easter Sundays past. But come Sunday, the sanctuary that would normally be full, will have empty seats.
“It’s both a challenge as we adjust to now ministering to people digitally. But it’s also a great opportunity,” said Pastor Bryan Carter.
Technology will be the conduit of Pastor Bryan Carter’s message from the pulpit to people’s phones, iPads or laptops. In fact, Carter says Concord has served three times as many people online each Sunday than they would be gathering inside the building.
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“On one side we miss everybody,” said Carter. “But on the other side we’re excited about how God’s message and the Gospel will go out across all the world.”
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas will do the same.
Bishop Greg Kelly says there’s a sense of sadness as he thinks about the traditional celebration of the eucharist.
“The listening together of bible readings, receiving the body and blood of the Lord,” said Kelly. “People have such a deep attachment to that, and I think experience very much a loss of that.”
Kelly, like Pastor Carter, is encouraged. And he wants those across the 9 county diocese to be encouraged and inspired as well.
“The Lord is always with us, in every moment he’s always with us giving us the gift that we need to serve him,” Kelly said.
In scary and uncertain times, they say the goal is to love and serve.
“A lot of people are suffering. A lot of people are hurting,” said Carter. “Let us lighten your load. Let us encourage you.”
Service times for Concord Church can be found here.
Service times for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas can be found here.