Church services from Heiligenstadt go worldwide
And it does: Every Sunday there is an online fair from Eichsfeld. And every week, according to the municipality, new audiences are added. Even Canada is looking at Heiligenstadt: Montreal’s Machthild Morin coincidentally came to the livestream, ever since the noted German has been watching every Sunday. There are 300 to 500 worshipers per week; A total of 130,000 accessions were counted. On average, each of these “hits” were seen for a quarter of an hour.
Pastor Coan remembered the people. Therefore, there is great bond – even stronger than normal, Koen says. Broadcast services such as online services are important. The church still has something to hold on to. However, they cannot replace face-to-face service.
Community IT team was pleasantly surprised with the success
The fact that anyone from Heiligenstadt has to go without sermons on Sunday is largely thanks to the IT team around Heiligenstadt-based Christian Simon. The success story began in mid-March 2020. During that time he founded the first Internet church service with Eric Hisman, Marco Bachman and Matthias Nelles. “We’re surprised that so many people tune in,” Simon says. In Germany, international people are also watching. “The original idea was to provide access to our congregation for church services,” Christian Simon says, looking back. Such a community, as it now exists, is formed over time.
Many cameras provide variety
It is not technically complicated, Simon explains. Laptops, web cameras and a little internet in the church – which started about a year ago. “There’s a network cable right at the altar – that helped us,” he says. There are now three cameras in the gallery and in the pulpit. Different camera positions are not so tedious when transmitting in the living room. Gradually, more and more influences were added: church figures, blessings from the church tower, brass music from the church area and well-rehearsed choral music diversified. “It’s not a stubborn Sunday service like every week,” emphasized Simon.
Online church services from Heiligenstadt will continue in 2021 – the plan is for Palm Sunday and Easter.