Corporate worship on Samford’s campus looks different this school year due to COVID-19.
According to Meagan Kennedy, who is in charge of public relations and marketing for the Center of Worship and the Arts, preparations for this year’s worship changes have been happening since COVID-19 prompted Samford’s campus to temporarily close down in March.
“The main way [worship] has changed is that we’re having to do pre-recorded services,” Kennedy said. “We are following all of the rules that have been issued through Samford and the School of the Arts.”
Rather than having convocation every Tuesday and Thursday open to all students and staff as it has been in past semesters, services must be accessed online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Kennedy shared that they limit the number of people in the room while recording to 10, and that only the singers ever remove their masks. Everyone involved always maintains a distance of at least 6 feet.
The most challenging thing for the Office of Spiritual Life and the Center for Worship and the Arts this semester has been coordinating the recording of the services. Kennedy said that the staff has a desire to do things well, but also safely. They are working hard to take care of everyone involved in the creation of the online services.
“I tend to see things in a positive light,” Kennedy said. “I see this as an opportunity to shape worship in a different way than maybe we could if we were in person.”
Kennedy also said that the campus worship team is being more intentional than ever before about song selections.
“There’s a lot of similar, overlapping emotions amongst people at Samford in general right now, so we’re trying to own that we have that space to step into,” Kennedy said. “We’ve specifically brought in new songs that we knew would be helpful thematically and theologically in this time. We sang a song a few weeks ago called ‘Greater Than All,’ which specifically addresses how God is greater than sickness and sin and all of the other things we are battling.”
Kennedy said that there are many things she has learned throughout the past several months about interacting with people and how to bring them into worship settings.
“There are things we’re going to carry over into post-COVID life, whatever that looks like,” she said. “We’re all in this same place of unknown together, everyone, students and faculty and staff. We’re navigating whatever this season is together.”