ONLINE SERVICES: St Mark's Easter services will be available on YouTube this weekend.
ONLINE SERVICES: St Mark's Easter services will be available on YouTube this weekend.

Dalby church’s online sermon viewed all over the world

A DALBY church’s online sermon has reached international waters.

St Mark’s Lutheran Church’s upload of a Palm Sunday service was viewed from all over the world.

After a government mandate barred people from attending church for social distancing reasons, Pastor Joel Pukallus and the team at St Mark’s decided their congregation shouldn’t go without their weekly worship, so have decided to upload their services for the Easter weekend onto YouTube.

Their first upload for Palm Sunday proved to be a hit among loyal followers, plus hundreds of others.

“We normally have a congregation of about 100 people … we noticed after the first week that it had about 330 views on the YouTube page,” Pastor Pukallus said.

“We heard anecdotal evidence of people watching it and telling their parents, and people watching it from South Australia.

“One member here told his brother who lives in Africa, so it was watched in Africa.”

Pastor Pukallus said despite having to watch and deliver the sermon remotely, it had connected the community more than they thought.

“It’s amazing for us,” he said.

“As much as we are not able to worship together and we feel isolated, some good might come from this and people might be more likely to hear the message from home where they’re more comfortable.

“We’re starting to realise how much of a barrier it can be for people to walk through the doors of a church if they haven’t done that before.”

Pastor Pukallus hosted a Maundy Thursday and Good Friday service, which were uploaded to YouTube, and has prerecorded an Easter Sunday service to be uploaded at 9.30am.

The chaotic times during the COVID-19 pandemic was not enough of an excuse to press pause on their worship, especially for those who turn to their faith and their friends in times of need, the pastor said.

“For us, at a time of social upheaval, I think a lot of people especially our older people who look to their church as a sort of community … It’s comforting for people to see their own minister and know their church is still going,” he said.

As an auxiliary firefighter and chaplain for the QFES Dalby command, Pastor Pukallus knows that the social distancing measures are as much for the protection of his community as they are to allow people to continue their worship.

The online services are there to stop people gathering in large groups and potentially putting the town at risk.

“I’m happy to abide by the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law is that it’s there to keep people safe, and we don’t want to put people anymore at risk than we need to,” the Pastor said.

“We have a lot of elderly members in churches, and we don’t want to accidentally give one person the thing that is going to end their life.”

The services can be viewed HERE.


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