As noted before, the Holy Week Crush has reduced me to posting unedited press releases about local events. Below is a letter from the Rev. Harold Lewis, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside. His congregation, which is liturgically traditional but theologically somewhat liberal, is offering a live Webcast of its 11:15 a.m. Easter service. According to Dr. Lewis, it's a technological trial run for the installation of the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh later this year:
My sisters and brothers in Christ,
An Easter hymn begins with these words:
Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!
Now is the triumph of our King!
To all the world glad news we bring: Alleluia!
[The Hymnal 1982, 205]
I write to let you know that on Easter Day, April 8, we will, in a literal sense, be able to tell to all the world the glad news of the Resurrection. As part of our commitment to harness the new tools of online communications and social networking, our 11:15 a.m. Eucharist on that day will be broadcast across the worldwide Web. This means that you can tell your family and friends --- your aunt in Denver, your homebound neighbor in East Liberty, your college classmate in London, your business associate in Nairobi, and your children on college campuses --- that they may participate in a live stream of our beautiful Easter service by going to the Calvary website,www.calvarypgh.org and following the prompts.
This project, approved by the Vestry, is being made possible through the generosity of a Calvary parishioner, through whom we have retained the services of BX Video Solutions, a local firm that specializes in webcasting, to manage the Easter morning online broadcast. The company will be utilizing its own cameras and other equipment, which will be placed unobtrusively around the church. Our donor has also funded extensive new cabling in the building to facilitate Internet connectivity.
After Easter, we will be asking for your feedback, and if we are encouraged by the impact of our Easter webcast, our donor has pledged to raise the necessary funds to install our own equipment, so that webcasting will become a permanent capability for Calvary. In this way, we will be able to webcast other special services and musical events. Our goal is to have the necessary equipment installed in time for the consecration of the eighth bishop of
Pittsburgh, which will take place at Calvary on October 20.
It seems altogether fitting and proper that Calvary Church, the first congregation in the nation to broadcast its services on the radio, should now, ninety years later, avail itself of innovative technology at our disposal to share our worship experiences through a distinctly 21st century medium. In so doing, we join forces with our friends at Rodef Shalom and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, among others, who are already webcasting services.
We urge you to support and participate in this exciting initiative, and to share this information with your family and friends who may not be able to be with us in person on Easter morning. This comes with the assurance of my prayers for a blessed Eastertide!
Faithfully, your rector and friend,