Redemption Chapel aims to have more in-person services, maintains virtual services for security | Latest updates

Jarrod Williams, associate pastor of Redemption Chapel, speaks during a Sunday service on February 14, 2021. This photo was taken from one of Redemption Chapel’s live stream services.

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a five-part series that examines how local places of worship are dealing with the pandemic. Part one, part three and the fourth part can be found here.

“How do we start to look to the future and somehow play offensively?” Said Redemption Associate Pastor Chapel Austin McCann, when discussing their plans to fight COVID-19. The Chapel of Redemption was one of the first churches in Kent to reopen since the statewide lockdown and has remained open ever since.

When the statewide lockdown went into effect in March 2020, Redemption Chapel was one of several religious places of worship that offered live service to its members. While these weekly live-streamed services benefited many, Dena Marshall and other Redemption Chapel members felt their young children wouldn’t feel so connected.

“My youngest was two years old at the time and his screen attention span is one minute,” Marshall said.

With that in mind, Redemption offered a midweek virtual experience called “The Kid Zone Show”. The show took place on Facebook Live and gave children the opportunity to learn about Bible stories through a host and his puppet friend.

“It was pretty much the highlight of our week because it was interactive,” Marshall said. “We could message our answers and questions and the host of ‘The Kid Zone Show’ would read their answers.”

Service song from the Chapelle de la Rédemption

Jason Rice (left) and Karen Thompson (right) volunteer to lead Sunday worship at the Redemption Chapel during a service on February 14, 2021. This photo was taken from one of Redemption Chapel’s live stream services.

After two months of virtual, Redemption decided to open its extension for Sunday services in June. Although it was originally due to be unveiled after construction was completed in March 2020, the Extension of the Chapel of the Redemption building ultimately gave the church more space for in-person services.

McCann said other churches thought they were crazy. “Pandemic or not, we think it’s our calling to give people a place of worship,” McCann said.

The decrease in in-person attendance associated with masks made it easy for their congregation to safely and safely worship, McCann said. Although the church is open and offers in-person services, Sunday School has not been offered in person for several months.

Claire Sibonney from Today’Parent said children find it difficult to understand the concept of social distancing. For this reason, the pastoral team of Redemption Chapel decided to suspend the service to promote safety. After two months of in-person service, the pastoral team resumed Sunday school for the children in August of last year.

McCann said the pastoral team has made an effort to provide options to its members. “Our church is more like 50/50,” McCann said. “We are constantly trying to find a balance in the way we help both groups have a place of worship. ”

McCann said the church has been aggressive from the start because he and his team believe there is no substitute for in-person worship. McCann and Marshall said they believe getting people back to the church will be a challenge since the world has been virtual for so long.

“Retraining yourself to be around people is actually going to be very difficult,” said Marshall.

McCann also discussed the importance of in-person community. He said they will promote and encourage virtual communities until every member feels safe enough to join in person.

“We have to constantly find ways to remind our people that you always have to have community in one way or another,” McCann said. “It’s different and more difficult now, but don’t give up. “

Hannah Mayer covers religion. Contact her at [email protected]

Perry A. Thomasson