Several British Columbia pastors cooperated this summer by preaching sermons on the Psalms and sharing them with each other’s congregations on Zoom.
At a Mennonite Church B.C. pastors gathering last winter, a conversation arose about the difficulty of getting dynamic speakers to preach when pastors take summer holidays. Several mentioned that it would be good for all of them to go to hear a theologian speak and then have the sermons available in response.
Recalls Kevin Barkowsky, pastor of Sherbrooke Mennonite in Vancouver and MC B.C.'s church engagement minister: “We first started thinking we could all visit each other’s church in person, but that wasn’t practical, because that meant we would be away from our own congregations, plus away for our holidays.” He continues, “Since COVID-19, videos for sermons are more common, and people are used to them. So, even though video sermons are not ideal, we thought that if we did it together as an MC B.C. effort, it would have more buy-in for our congregants.”
Pastors taking part were Gerry Binnema of Crossroads Community Church in Chilliwack, Aaron Roorda of Eden Mennonite in Chilliwack, Darnell Barkman of Yarrow United Mennonite, and Dan Forrest of United Mennonite in Black Creek.
Barkowsky took all the ideas and condensed the effort into four video sermons on the Psalms, each sermon no more than 20 minutes in length. He talked with pastors about participating, either by speaking or by hosting the sermons at their church during a summer service.
Each participating pastor selected a psalm and let the others know which one they had chosen. The videos were recorded by Grant Miller and crew from Cedar Valley Church, in Mission.
“We each recorded a message early in the summer and then the video got edited and tweaked and put on Google Drive to be shared with the other churches,” says Binnema. “Aaron spoke on Psalm 8, Dan spoke on Psalm 126, I picked Psalm 133, and Darnell tackled Psalm 139. These were then shared with the other churches that wanted them.”
Barkowsky reports, “In the end, eight congregations participated, plus Langley Mennonite used one of them one Sunday when they were in a pinch. So, all around, it was an MC B.C. effort.”