Adapting QuietChurch to Online Worship During the COVID-19 Pandemic
QuietChurch represents active worship. Growing quiet and focusing on worship takes practice and work. Thus, worshippers at QuietChurch are engaged.
Dietrich Bonhoffer notes, "this is why even our silence before God takes practice and work....[silence provides] the presence of Eternity, allow it to speak, question it, and thereby look deep within and far beyond oneself... One might have a few verses of the Bible to read, but it is best to freely allow the soul to take its own way to ... the homeland in which it finds peace."—Meditating On the Word.
QuietChurch originally began as a worship service in a traditional church-type sanctuary. However, rather than a typical service with greetings, sermon(s), closely-programmed-worship, and music, QuietChurch worshipers gather in silence and worship collectively in that silence. Typically, worshipers may focus on a series of prompts—perhaps a scripture passage, perhaps a time of year, perhaps a vignette, perhaps the words of a hymn. Others welcome the apparent simplicity of collective quiet.
Then the pandemic hit.
QuietChurch adapted by providing, as with many churches, an online gathering format. Rather than a formal sanctuary, QuietChurch worshippers gather-where-they-are. Many still collectively pray and contemplate the optional "prompts." But the online format is even less structured than the in-person worship experience.
So, far, worshippers like the online, quiet worship format. And QuietChurch seems to work well even in a virtual or online format because silent worship, as Bonhoffer suggests, represents active worship needing practice and work. QuietChurch is not worshippers just sitting around in silence, but worshippers in active worship seeking a Presence, the Eternity that Bonhoffer cites, and a collective experience of a discipline-of-silence.
Don't like "regular" church because it is too loud, unfocused, too programmed, too disorienting, too passive, or seems too much like secular society? Then QuietChurch might be for you. Start your own QuietChurch program at your spiritual home or join the online QuietChurch programs (see the Calendar).