Dear Pastor,

I hope that you and all whom you know and love are safe, healthy, and well.

We are in the second month of life during a global health crisis. While things are not what they used to be (nor do I think we will return to that life), by now I hope that you have attained some semblance of a rhythm in our “now normal” (for once the pandemic ends, we will begin building our “new normal”).

I am writing to ask you to participate in a survey on how you have shifted worship from a face to face format to a virtual format. This is the first of four surveys that I will administer over the course of the next 12 months. I want to track what pastors are doing: what adaptations in elements, people, technology, etc., are being employed. The content of future surveys will be, in part, based on the status of the global health crisis, for that will determine the degree to which we will be able to gather. Future survey will also explore different aspects of common worship and communal life (e.g., ordinances/sacraments, music, pastoral care, etc.). The goal of these surveys will be an article (or maybe a book, depending on the amount of data gathered) on where churches were before the global health crisis, how they transitioned to virtual worship, what were the steps/stages in these transitions, how churches returned to gathering in person for worship, the impact of the transitions, and what insights, knowledge, and wisdom was gained.

This survey should take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

I appreciate your willingness to participate in this study.

May I also ask another favor? Would you forward this e-mail, along with the link, to other pastors who you think would be willing to participate in this study. This survey is designed for pastors of any Christian tradition.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, I acknowledge that your schedules are filled with pastoring in new, different, and creative ways. Know that I honor and appreciate your time and your willingness to participate in this survey.

Easter blessings,

The Reverend Lisa M. Weaver, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Worship
Columbia Theological Seminary

Worship Grants Advisory Board Member
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

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