"We aren't meeting publicly, and as pastors we're doing all we can to continue to minister while practicing social distancing and honoring our state officials." Hannah said.
The result: Parishioners from nearly 30 churches in the area came together virtually to sing the popular Christian song "The Blessing" as part of an Easter celebration. In less than 48 hours, the video of their singing has been viewed more than 117,000 times on YouTube.
Hannah was drawn to a renowned Christian song, "The Blessing," written by popular Christian singers Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe, and contemporary worship band Elevation Worship because of its peaceful lyrics, which come straight from scripture: Numbers 6:24-26.
Hannah said he thought: "How powerful would it be if we could get diverse churches across our city to sing this blessing over Pittsburgh during this pandemic?"
He called his good friend Jason Howard, the lead pastor at Amplify Church. Both pastors come from music backgrounds so when he pitched the idea, Howard was ready and willing to help with the project. From there, they started a grassroots campaign to get as many churches involved as possible.
They set a goal for all of the local churches involved to share the virtual worship experience at the end of their online Easter services. The team reached out to music ministries across Pittsburgh and they received videos from 30 members from local Christian churches, diverse in denomination. Howard and his production team did the heavy lifting in editing and producing the collaborative video.
"There are nearly 30 churches involved from Pittsburgh that are very diverse ethnically, socio-economically and musically," Hannah said. "I believe part of the power of the video is the unity displayed by the various churches. We've had so many reach out and talk about the joy and peace it brought through their time of loneliness and fear."