What is it like joining St. Catherine’s via Zoom?

We are very grateful to the Old Catholics for allowing us to use their zoom system to experiment with streaming our services. Whether this becomes a regular thing depends on uptake, feedback and helpers to run the technology.
Zoom will not be available every Sunday, if you would like to join us please register by Saturday at the latest by e-mailing zoom@stcatherines-stuttgart.de and we can send you details of hymns etc.
Here is a taster of what the Zoom church experience is like;

Hello St. Catherine’s,

On Sunday 28th April 2024, I had the pleasure of attending church remotely. I had the role of co-host so that I could let monitor the participants and mute when required.
It was very easy to log into zoom. All I needed was the meeting ID and pin.
Nobody else joined this week, but I imagine when people are on vacation, like me, this will be a really great way of attending services in Stuttgart. Also, for me in winter, when it is not possible for me to drive to Stuttgart, I can attend the service via zoom.
Nevertheless, it became very clear to me that personal attendance makes a world of difference. Particularly, during Holy Communion. It is just not possible to participate during this part. In fact, the camera is blurred and rightly so. However, you hear the choir which is heartening. You can also see Bishop Antonio at the end within a little bubble which makes things real and uplifting.

How I experienced the service:

  • I could see the clergy and the chancel of the church and everything was well lit and clear.
    I could really only hear the clergy when they spoke directly into the microphones. Otherwise, it was a little muffled. It was great when Bishop Antonio spoke from the Communion Table as there was a microphone in front of him.
  • The organ and choir were very resounding all the time. Very beautiful really.
    The music came across well and gave an inclusive feeling to the service.
    I could also hear the congregating participating in the prayers and singing the hymns etc. Also the children, which was good.
  • The readings were easily understood.
  • Not really possible to see the facial expressions of the clergy. The picture is a little fuzzy but their concentration and reverence is still visible and touchable.
  • I loved the atmosphere I could sense from the “peace be with you” gestures. The clergy were smiling and you could sense the warmth radiating from the church through the screen. Smiles are so welcome for those who cannot attend in person.
  • It was fun to hear Bishop Antonio give the announcements at the end. You could hear the congregation communicating with him: the applause for the elections of the Church Wardens and Council. Everyone sounded happy at this point.

All in all, I enjoyed the service and was able to participate, albeit with some distractions.

I am happy to continue as “co-host” and would encourage those who cannot attend church in person, for whatever reason that may be, to download zoom to their smart phone, and join with the meeting Id and password. Don’t worry your camera is off and you are on mute. All that is visible is the name you use to access zoom.

I found it so easy and particularly worthwhile, as I got the chance to dedicate myself and my spirit to prayer this Sunday the 28th April 2024.

Thank you and greetings to my friends at St. Catherine’s Community.