Like any other organization, Gladwyne Presbyterian Church has been impacted by the pandemic. We wish it was not the case, but it is. While it would be easy to say that things will go back to normal when COVID19 passes, there are no guarantees that will be the case.
We have begun to make some changes on how we do things at GPC, nothing earth shattering, but changes nonetheless. One change will please many of you as we are working to allow donations and contributions to be made online. The Presbyterian Foundation has partnered with an online provider to allow online donations to take place at a 2% cost, which is the lower cost you can find among online providers. We are in the process of getting our paperwork approved, as you can imagine there is a backlog right now. Hopefully by the end of the week it will be activated and we will send out instructions.
The second major change might make you happy or frustrate you more, and that is the decision to utilize the Gsuite products to help foster an increased ability to share online with one another. We have all seen the merits of Zoom but also realize that we need a greater ability to share with one another. Having said all of that, we also realize that nothing can replace human contact and nothing that we are describing here is meant to replace one to one connections in the flesh! But in the meantime, how do we better foster relationships with one another? Gsuite helps in that reality.
There are some headaches to get started, primarily that we need to get folks registered, which entails a new email and password. This might be a bridge too far for some but we would encourage you to go through the process and get registered, because once you are in the system, there is no need to use the email if you do not want to use it. The items that we are excited about in Gsuite are the Chat and the Meet capabilities. In Chat we can share stories, videos, photos etc and in Meet, each of us will be able to video chat with others in the congregation. In addition, using such apps as the Calendar we can share events going on that we know about or in Photo we can create and share albums with the community.
Each group within the congregation will have a Room in Chat. So from COALESCE to the Men’s Group to the Women’s Book Group to Bible Study etc, all of these groups will have a Room within Chat where they can share with one another. And the great thing is that new groups can be formed as well.
Yes, a lot is changing in the world, and yes that can be scary. But some of the changes can also be good. We have found that holding Zoom gatherings have allowed some people to join conversations that they otherwise would not have because of schedules. Or we have been able to worship with friends who leave far off from us. If we use technology properly we can enhance our community and build on what makes it special!