Ah, the dog days of summer. Ancient people noted the rising of the dog star Sirius (before the streaming service!) coincided with days of sultry heat. The Church of England had an observance for the “dog daies” in early versions of the Book of Common prayer. Modern writers disagree on whether the days should be counted from rising or setting of Sirius. Climate change adds a whole new dimension to the discussion. One thing I think we can agree on — it is hot outside!
And yet, outside is the safest place for people to gather. With that in mind, some hardy souls have been pilot testing “Perch Church,” small outdoor lay-led worship opportunities that I first discussed in the Weekly Word back on June 18, and other staff members have talked about since. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am excited to announce that Bishop Sam has given permission for us to move forward from the test phase.
Perch Church participants bring their own chair, snack, candle/lighter, and copy of the weekly liturgy (electronic copies are fine). Given COVID restrictions, you will always need to sign up to participate to ensure that we don’t exceed the safe gathering numbers.
Watch Rev. Jackie’s video below and hear about her granddaughter’s experience. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. I will get you to the right perch.
We hope to offer many more “perch” locations, especially in the Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Mount Pleasant, Afton Village/George Liles Parkway, and Highland Creek areas. Hosts provide space in their backyard or locate an appropriate park, email participants the weekly liturgy, and report attendance for contact tracing. Please pray about whether hosting is an opportunity you might say yes to!
Elizabeth Soloman has agreed to distribute copies to the perch leaders (who send them out to their participants) and collect the names of attendees (just in case we need the information for contact tracing). We are looking for a coordinator to work with those who agree to lead a “perch” and match those who want to participate with their closest geographical “perch.”
We are excited to share this unique worship experience with you!