Churches hold first Sunday service of 2021, reflect on going virtual

LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – Churches across our area have jumped right into the new year and have begun holding their first services of 2021.

For the past year, churches have moved online and are likely to continue that trend as the months go on.

At the Lewisburg United Methodist Church, pastor Bev Colombo says they are no different. They stream live on YouTube and Facebook, and are constantly reaching out to the community.

“We were anxious to be like ‘okay let’s get that over with and get back to normal’, and now we’re realizing that there’ve been some gifts that have come out of live-streaming. Because we’re able to reach more people and more people are tuning in,” Colombo said.

Their first service of the new year is like many others. Partially pre-recorded and partially live-streamed. It’s all put together by a media team.

At Lewisburg United Methodist, Ryan Vaughan, a senior at Lewisburg Baptist Academy, works as their media intern. He started last year as the need to move online was growing.

“I started in March as soon as the pandemic hit. They needed somebody to help do this, so I stepped up. My job is to broadcast all of our services Sunday morning. And I also do all of the editing throughout the week, and I make sure all of our stuff gets on the radio too,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan wants to eventually go into communications after he finishes his schooling, and says this job was a great opportunity to get into the field.

As the year moves forward, churches everywhere are hoping they can eventually move back to in-person services, but for the meantime, the Lewisburg United Methodist Church is contempt with staying digital and interacting with their communities remotely.

“We’re looking forward to just continuing live-streaming and being on the radio. And we’re just trying to stay strong for that. And then hopefully by Spring and Summer we can start gathering on some level,” Colombo added.