What is “Shared Sabbath”?

When the world suddenly shut down in March of 2020, our congregation (White Rock Presbyterian Church), like so many others, unexpectedly found ourselves not able to share a place of Sabbath. As a temporary alternative (or so I thought!), I invited our people to share a time of Sabbath, and join me each morning, in spirit, for prayer.

To facilitate a sense of sharing this time of prayer together, I began sending out a daily email, initially including a Bible verse or two and a list of prayer requests. This effort was well-received, and soon grew to include a brief reflection on the scripture, written either by myself or, eventually, another member of the congregation. 

That email went out nearly daily for fifteen months, significantly increasing our sense of connection to one another, even as we were physically apart. It also served to strengthen our faith, bolstering our trust in the presence and goodness of God in what were–as we all know–uncertain and challenging times.

The “Shared Sabbath” email continues to go out, although in June 2021 its frequency decreased to only once a week. Since we have been able to resume in-person gatherings, we’re no longer as dependent on our “virtual connection,” but even so, the weekly reflection, updated prayer requests, and opportunity to connect in this way continue to be appreciated.

This is a collection of those reflections.