By Racine Grant, LWC member
“Can one really feel the outpouring of the Holy Spirit via Zoom?”
This question perhaps ran frequently through the minds of several persons during the days of Living Water Community’s (LWC) first virtual Life in the Spirit Seminar of 2021.
The seminar, which started on Tuesday, January 12, and ended Thursday 28, cemented the belief that the might of God, coupled with the power of His Holy Spirit, can reach anyone who thirsts for it, even over Wi-Fi.
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., for three weeks, over 60 participants from Europe, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, diligently logged into the designated Zoom meeting room to partake in this unique experience. This diverse group of people consisted of families, parents, youths, retirees, healthcare professionals and teachers, who all classified themselves as either Life in the Spirit Seminar veterans or novices.
Sessions generally ran for at least one hour and began with an introduction to the evening by LWC Director Rhonda Maingot, followed by a song of praise led by Anika Johnson.
Participants were required to view pre-recorded video clippings based on thematic talks from members of local ecclesial communities, such as Eternal Light Community, Zion RC Community, Emmanuel Community, and People of Praise.
Subsequently, participants were placed in breakout rooms and engaged in 30-minute discussions, facilitated by appointed LWC group leaders. Persons were encouraged to share their reflections on the talk of the night and prescribed readings, which were given as a guiding tool to aid in their preparation for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
But how can the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occur online?
If you were to ask anyone who has done a Life in the Spirit Seminar, oftentimes they would reveal that the climax to the whole event happened when hands were laid on them. However, given social distancing, this aspect of the seminar could not be realised, and thus was aptly dubbed the ‘Praying Over’, which took place on Tuesday.
Before the Blessed Sacrament, participants, and members of both LWC Trinidad and Barbados entered into the praise and worship segment, which flowed into a powerful healing session led by the community’s other Director, Rose Jackman, stationed in Barbados.
This segued into the sanctification of all spaces that held both participants and community members and solidified the already intimate and prayerful atmosphere. It must be noted that at this point, any apprehension or curiosity over the evening’s proceedings dissipated, giving way to persons truly freeing themselves to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
While community members vigorously prayed in tongues, attendees were encouraged to do the same and were privy to a one-on-one WhatsApp video call through which they received a Word and scripture confirmation. The simple lyrics to the song ‘Welcome Holy Spirit’ masterfully describe and sum up what took place over Zoom that evening.
While COVID-19 has forced us to practise new ways of living, it has also granted us multiple avenues to display our God-given human ingenuity. For several participants, the online nature of the seminar presented the opportunity to embark on a spiritual journey, which may not have happened if technology had not become an essential feature of our ‘new normal’.
Simultaneously for others, the seminar was viewed as an alternative outlet to exorcise burdens piled on by the pandemic, and thus proved to be a much-needed life raft during this time.
Regardless of the various reasons which drew persons to LWC’s virtual Life in the Spirit Seminar, it is safe to affirm that like the power of the Holy Spirit, our earnest desire to connect with our Heavenly Father also knows no bounds.