Unfolding grace digitally

By Jess Hoffert

In the Zoom grid of names and faces during this year’s NYAC worship services, one of those squares held a very special place and purpose. For each service, one young adult was assigned to create a worship center in their home and spotlight it on their Zoom screen.

As the joyful noise came to an end, the worship center was spotlighted on everyone’s screen, and the creator lit a candle placed at the heart of their center. What surrounded the candle varied based on the creativity of each participant: flowers, photos, quotes, and artwork provided thoughtful inspiration and meditation for worshipers as the candle glowed.

Each lighting only took a few seconds as Seth Hendricks played soft music in the background, but I often found it to be the most moving part of each service. There was something beautifully intimate about being invited into someone’s home and seeing a unique work of art that they created for this moment.

Perhaps it was the fact that intimacy and calm is so challenging these days, especially on a platform like Zoom. People easily talk over each other, and quiet often means there’s a technical glitch or someone’s mic is accidentally muted.

But here, in these worship services, the quiet was embraced as a moment to step back in awe and see grace unfold through the beautifully unique, God-inspired eyes of us all.

Drawing by Kara Miller


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