The Rev. Cathlin Baker is pastor for the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.

On Sunday, she held a traditional service for church members from a non-traditional location: her home. She opened the virtual service with an extravagant welcome and lifted up prayers and concerns congregants had sent in by email the day before.

“What I was trying to focus on Sunday was reducing anxiety . . . how to keep that anxiety at a distance, though there is a healthy dose of it we all need now,” she said. “We did some guided meditations to offer prayers of protection and peace.”

In a time when gathering in person is no longer possible, Reverend Baker said bringing people together by any means necessary is important.

“People were so happy to see each other. All the waving and socializing,” she said. “There is a history of church having to meet in secret, or wartime . . . You just have to loosen the traditions a bit to accommodate the situation.”

She said the service and those to come are shaped by the clerical season of Lent.

“The story of Lent begins with Jesus in the wilderness as he begins his turn towards Jerusalem. He’s walking alone. There’s that sense of desertion, but the presence of God through it. All those feelings are part of this season.”

—Will Sennott