I think I’ve spent more time outside these past few months than I have in my entire life combined. Alright, that MIGHT be a slight exaggeration, but I have been getting a lot of fresh air due to our current circumstances. Most of my meals have been eaten on sidewalks and the majority of my social interactions have been in parks. I can now add church to the list of places where I can spend some time in the sun.
I was thrilled when I found out that Hoboken Grace was going to offer three ways to enjoy services including online and 4 in-person services, indoors at 301 Garden, and outdoors at The Lawn. I personally enjoy the outdoor setting option. As restaurants, movie theaters and gyms have all pivoted to the outdoors, so are churches. Renting out the vacant lot next to the Pilsner Hauls & Biergarten for the next few months not only gives our church family the opportunity for another way to attend services, but the ability to use the space for any outdoor event or dinner group that wants to use it. Whether it be a team huddle, a clothes swap, or a comedy event, the space is open for us and proof that even amidst a pandemic where things are uncertain, God still provides for us.
Being able to meet for church exclusively online was a real blessing for me when the pandemic started. As much as I missed the in-person community, I also subscribed to the opinion that any time I got to worship was worth it. I am grateful that I still have the option to engage live online every Sunday, but after a while, I began to feel “Zoom fatigue” and missed Sunday morning worship service, in-person. For me there can be so many distractions at home or wherever I tune in online. For me, nothing can replace the in-person experience like the live music and the laugher heard after one of Chris and Anthony’s jokes. I’m sure they appreciate hearing the laughter in-person as well.
I have been a greeter for a few the of the in-person services and each time, I love to look around and notice just how smooth an operation everybody puts on. The signs we hold up that say things like, “I’m smiling under my mask” are just one of the fun ways we can show love towards everybody who enters. At the outdoor service, I’ve even had the opportunity to have conversations with Hoboken residents just passing by on a run or walk with their dog, who have been curious about what kind of event we were putting on. They are people who may not have ever heard of Hoboken Grace before seeing us worship together outside. It’s just additional confirmation that no matter where we are, with God’s help, we’re still able to impact the community.
Hopefully, one day, we can go back to the way things were, but in the meantime, it’s great to embrace these new methods of church that God is calling us to try out. You can choose your own adventure by tuning in online or registering for the in-person services. To learn more on all three options, you can visit: .