Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
My home meeting is now hybrid--some people attend in person and a roughly equal number attend remotely via Zoom. Obviously, many meetings were completely virtual for a couple of years.
Can a remote or hybrid meeting be a "gathered meeting"? Can the Light be transmitted via the internet? Can the spirit gather people who are miles (or time zones) apart?
I have only worshipped online since March 15th 2020 - except on 2 occasions. I would say yes it can be gathered, and I feel we were indeed gathered together, our coming together has been strong, even though we come from several local meetings. It also enabled people to come to worship from their hospital beds, to come when they were not well enough to drive - and to worship when they couldn't drive; we are rural so rely on driving - I don't drive and have been able to attend and even lead study groups on zoom, I feel that there has been more spiritual nurture these last two years than before.
Your queries mirror discussions I'm having with Friends here in Portland, Oregon, a city with two unprogrammed Monthly Meetings (Multnomah and Bridge City of NPYM), a smattering of Worship Groups, and several programmed churches e.g. Reedwood Friends Church and West Hills Friends (Sierra Cascade YM). Checking home pages, I see the word "blended" used a lot.
I wonder if many (any?) Friends are taking this opportunity to join in Quaker meetups they'd probably never get to in person. Have any Friends been officially released as Ministers to engage in just such "cyber-travel"? They might have interesting reports to bring back to their home meetings and support committees. Do Zoom meetups include "social hour" after worship in some cases?
Zoom seems to meet a need, although IMHO not as good a medium as face-to-face.