Virtual Worship

During the COVID-19 crisis, Northside Church has suspended gatherings in the congregation and community for the near future. However, we continue to offer online worship services Sundays at 9:45 and 11:00 on Facebook and The church website also features videos of the services and sermons.

Some churches are calling their online services “Virtual Worship.” Dictionary entries for the word “virtual” include:

  • Almost but not exactly in every way a thing or quality
  • Seen, heard, or experienced on a computer

At Northside, we reject the first definition and embrace the second. Online worship is NOT “almost but not exactly” worship. Whether worship occurs in person or online, we are the body of Christ praising God.

Join us in worship each Sunday as an online community of faith.

Virtual Worship

Sam the Yorkshire Terrier watching Northside’s online service last Sunday with me. 

A Rorschach Bookshelf Test

ink blotHermann Rorschach published his self-named “Rorschach Ink Blot Test” in 1921 to identify personality characteristics. As an armchair psychologist, I have created the “Bill Burch Bookshelf Test.” It’s easy to take—just list the items on your bookshelves, and let a friend diagnose how messed-up you are!

For example, here’s a partial list of things you will find on my office bookshelves:

  • 18 Bibles
  • 15 pictures of family
  • 13 Coca-Cola commemorative bottles
  • 8 Nativity sets
  • 5 ocean polished stones from Iona, Scotland
  • 2 Communion patens and chalices
  • 1 plug-in, bubbling, Christmas candle
  • NCAA baseball from a Georgia Tech foul ball
  • Foam bison from a Northside staff retreat—long story!
  • Bound collections of “Calvin & Hobbes” and “The Far Side”
  • Various cups, including a Dunder Mifflin coffee mug
  • Model of Snoopy perched atop his doghouse
  • Shadow box with fragments from the Berlin Wall
  • Hand painted Easter egg
  • Oh, and books!

After scoring the test, it’s obvious that I am a highly intelligent and gifted person of character who is well balanced in every way with no neuroses or psychoses!

How does your list reveal what’s important to you?

Life Lessons from Wile E. Coyote & the Road Runner

road runnerWile E. Coyote and the Road Runner taught me some valuable life lessons as a child. The cartoon characters’ Saturday morning antics revealed:

  • When you run off a cliff, keep moving your feet and don’t look down.
  • Gravity is a real DELETED BY CENSOR.
  • Parasols are poor protection against falling boulders.
  • The Acme Corporation sells all the gear necessary to catch a fast adversary.
  • Coyotes have more lives than cats.
  • Cannon balls sting but cause no permanent harm.

Most of all, the Coyote taught me to keep trying no matter how many times I failed.

Beep, beep!

Training or Being Trained

A friend recently shared a thought-provoking adage with me: “In every relationship, someone is being trained.” Like all maxims, the pithy statement contains a limited truth. In the best of relationships, we submit to one another, both training and being trained.

However, consider the concept on a broader scope.

  • In our relationship with our smart phones, are we training or being trained?
  • In our relationship with the internet, are we training or being trained?
  • In our relationship with social media, are we training or being trained?
  • In our relationship with unchurched people, are we training or being trained?
  • In our relationship with children about attending Sunday School and church, are we training or being trained?
  • In our relationship with the world, are we training or being trained?

“In every relationship, someone is being trained.”

Are we formed by the world or transformed by the Lord?