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Ever since the pandemic began, Christ Church, Chatham has filmed a weekly morning prayer service that transforms the setting of our yard at home into a little outdoor cathedral.

With a simple camera and tripod, we have filmed outside in all kinds of weather conditions – snow, rain. blistering heat, and gusty winds. And during these services we have had birds soaring high above, have had members of the barncat "clowder" sitting on the altar and climbing trees, and have watched the changing seasons.

When we started in March of 2020, the services outdoors were a necessity and a lifeline during lockdown. Since the return to in-person worship, the services have continued, and have gathered a momentum of their own. The congregation includes many new friends from California, Florida, and Mexico, who tune in regularly to the Christ Church YouTube channel to join in the service.

The outdoor experience has captured a different aspect of worship, one that reminds us that communing with the divine can happen anywhere, and that anywhere can be a holy place. Being outdoors to worship in birdsong or snowfall or sunshine takes us to the “thin places” that lie scattered at the periphery of our ordinary lives, and helps us to remember the wonder that surrounds us all. 

Rev. John Maroney