Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Easter may not have been the same this year due to COVID-19 social distancing measures which prohibit large gatherings, but members of Cornerstone Community Church still found a way to join their voices in song.
For its Easter service, worship pastor Nate Carter organized participants from the church choir and worship team to record themselves singing, then meshed those individual videos together into one performance of “Is He Worthy?” by Christian musician Andrew Peterson.
“The project was a brainchild of mine along with my friend Julie Vehrs, who also sang in the virtual choir,” Carter said. “We were eager to find a way to connect people on Easter Sunday, and see some faces they haven’t seen for many weeks now. I didn’t know if it would work, but am so thrilled it did. I so miss being with our church members, so this was a wonderful way to sing ‘with’ them during this time of social distancing.”
Each singer listened to the track and recorded themselves using their phones. Of the 13 participants, four performed the solo part and were featured at different points of the song. Carter later separated the audio tracks and created a single audio file and video.
“The funny thing is, no one ever saw another choir member! Each singer’s experience was singing alone into their phone,” he said. “It wasn’t until Easter morning that they saw the finished project with all their voices put together into an ensemble.”
The song, released by Peterson in 2018, was chosen for the service as a song relevant for the current pandemic.
“He’s an incredible lyricist, and this song captures the state of humanity so well. Even before COVID-19, we could see that our world is broken. There are the big signs: terrorism, racism, natural disasters, cancer, drought, etc. But we don’t have to look any further than our own hearts to find more brokenness: selfishness, envy, lust, bitterness.
“But in this season where Covid-19 is killing so many, it’s especially clear that the world is broken. Many people would see this brokenness as a dismal sign, but as Christians, we believe that Jesus’ resurrection on Easter gives us hope beyond any pandemic, including the sin that lives within us. Jesus took humanity’s sin on his shoulders, left it at the cross, and gave us the opportunity to receive everlasting life — a life without sadness, disease, suffering, or sin. To me, this song encapsulates that hope better than any I can think of.”
View the virtual choir’s performance during the Easter service on the Cornerstone Community Church Facebook page, or its Youtube channel at Cornerstone Church Marshfield.
“I’m so grateful for how our whole pastoral team has adapted to the changing environment in order to communicate a message of encouragement and hope during this difficult time,” said Senior Pastor Andy Kvernen. “It was deeply edifying to see God use Nate’s creative and administrative talents to bless our congregation (and all who tuned in to our Easter service) in such a beautiful way!”