An ACTS of the MNO Dream at Gloria Dei, Winnipeg

submitted by Jett Isleifson and Rev. Tyler Gingrich
“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:2, NRSV) 
Well, the effect at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church was not quite so dramatic or exciting as the event in Acts chapter 2 but we soon became excited! It was like a wind that wafted among us beginning with the first use of audio/visual equipment in late 2019 and early 2020 by our new pastor, Tyler Gingrich, and stirring up a previously envisioned but never realized dream of a trek by our congregation into Internet territory. We were aware of interest by a freelance videographer in our community for teaching local youth video production and photography and needing space to do that. It was known youngsters in nearby schools were interested in such projects, and so were some “older youngsters” who are members of Gloria Dei, also interested.
Enter COVID-19 and the lockdown that occurred beginning in March 2020. The last in-person worship service at Gloria Dei was held on Sunday, March 15, 2020. Within days Gloria Dei suddenly and at long last had a website, YouTube channel and online newsletter. Our Sunday worship services continued by use of pre-recorded online devotionals using our own musicians, readers and Pastor. All those participating made use of their own computer technology, cameras and recorders to create the devotionals.
The dream began to awaken at Gloria Dei of an “ACT of the MNO” that entailed acquiring and using this technology with congregation owned equipment to not only create an online audio/visual Internet presence for Gloria Dei during the pandemic but to expand it and incorporate it into our mission after.
We envisioned opening up our building and allowing use of our technology to interested youth and interested persons in our community. We envisioned an online presence reaching out to many who did not physically sit in our pews. Our congregation will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2021 and we realized what wonderful things could be created for that using audio/visual technology.
The Holy Spirit, like the wind, goes where she goes, coming from where we do not know and going wherever she is needed. It was not a formal sit-down visioning procedure at Gloria Dei but that “wind” moving among us that inspired our videography project dream.