Church During COVID-19

Let me be upfront/clear here - this thread is not intended to debate God’s role/blame/etc for Coronavirus.

Instead, I’m curious to see how this has affected congregations, given that many here are religious. Additionally, I think it’s safe to say that age groups are skewed towards those most vulnerable when it comes to church.

Me not being a church goer, I am hoping that churches are taking this seriously. What is your experience?

I am a Deacon at my church. We met last week to determine whether to have worship service. We took a poll of our congregation and decided to hold service. Some came, some stayed at home. Most of the ones that came were millennials. The older members stayed home. We had Bible Study this past Wednesday. The crowd was about the same; no more, no less.

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We are having a small group of people at our services, but the rest of our congregation is participating via live-stream due to a ban on groups of more than 50 people. All activities have been put on hold. The daycare/preschool is still open.

Here in the NJ/NY area, every synagogue/temple I know has stopped conductingl services. Mine has also canceled the community Passover Seder on April 9, and I imagine others will follow suit.

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Churches right and left are stopping services.

It’s been years since I attended any worship services. For awhile, though, I was attending some self help meetings that usually take place in churches.

Months ago I realized that program wasn’t for me & stopped attending. I was still on a list as a member, & a man phoned to let me know all gatherings at that particular church had ceased for the time being.

And this amazing lady and her husband—both over 60, where they would be more negatively impacted by COVID 19, are going into overdrive from home with their ministry.

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Mine (in NJ), is live streaming " virtual" fri night / sat am services. We’re a conservative congregation; and while congregants vary greatly in their degree of observance, the building is definately “Shomer Shabbos”.

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I’m part of a few groups on Facebook. I get nasty when various individuals diss the so called millennial generation, really don’t like that.

It’s pretty encouraging that many of the young adults in your congregation have continued with worship services and Bible studies. Sounds like they really want to learn and have God in their lives.

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Well I attend a big church so our age demographic is wide, children(we have a ton of them) to upper 90’s. Pastor put out a message last week about closing our doors based on Governor Hogan’s state mandate on limited gathering. It was announced yesterday that my pastor would be having a virtual services for 8,10, 12 and 6 o’clock services.
Any church goer who place of worship is closed and does not have online capabilities join us on Sunday… Watch Online - FBCG

Here’s a message of encouragement… Coronavirus - FBCG

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Modern Churches and “small groups” have taken to online gatherings.

Not a problem.

Calvinist here. I don’t need a priest, a wafer, or some faux wine.

We, individually and in groups, pray directly to the Father in the name of the Son.

Look up Priesthood of the Believer. Dates back to 1517.

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I think this could further accelerate the rate of church closings, already at 100 to 200 per week in the United States. Several small rural churches in my area have closed permanently and the ones that are open are all pretty much on the economic brink, even the Catholic Diocese.

Churches should handle this situation prudently. Protestant churches can send out their sermon to members online. Obviously it is a bit more complicated for Catholics.

Do what they need to do and that could differ depending on religion and area.

Am a Catholic, discouraged not being able to receive the Eucharist. Just watched EWTN Mass. Ok, but not the same. Missed Mass a few years ago because of a snow storm. This Thursday night will have adoration, though can only go if 10 or less. Our history goes back to 33 AD.

http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/

Our church is open. Our Pastor is holding services as usual on Sunday and Wednesday as usual and also has begun live streaming. I am home with my wife, who has health issues that make her more vulnerable to infection. By watching our live stream, I can see very few are attending. I believe it is a matter of choice to attend or not and each person should make it based on their own…

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My household found that getting dressed in our Sunday Best helps change the experience of a streamed church service from one of observation to one of participation.

Many individual churches are now streaming their own services. There is also a difference in experience if it’s a streamed service from your own church with your own pastor rather than some other stream – even if it’s identically your own faith expression.

Perhaps your own church will find its way to streaming its own service.

But do what you can deliberately do to draw yourself more fully into a streamed service. Light candles. Turn off the phone. Chromecast it onto a larger screen rather than a handheld device or pad or laptop screen. Be intentional in your participation.

During our drive yesterday to go hiking, saw quite a few abandoned churches both here in North Carolina and on the Virginia side. Some looked fairly recent, some had the look of 50 years or more vacant.

100 to 200 churches a week close in the United States. The coronavirus will likely cause a surge of permanent closings.

I worked with a guy a few years ago, who quit to become a full time preacher at a church in Virginia. He’s been posting on Facebook how angry he is that churches are closed while liquor stores are still open.

I like what you and your family are doing for Mass, Guvnah. I tried the TV Mass and it seemed…too TV?..I don’t know it felt like something I was watching not participating. I am glad to hear it is working for many.

I am doing the USCCB readings and reflections, beginning (and ending) with personal prayer. I also go off to You Tube to find hymns relating to the Mass theme. For example, today was the the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, so I chose, Roll Away the Stone, You are Mine, and Only a Shadow.

One of the reasons I think this works for me is because since the house is down to two of us, I am the only one who worships. I think watching Mass might be different with a family gathered.

As for giving credibility…my husband isn’t an atheist and he does not come up with silly suggestions like God should exempt places of worship from viruses. It is fine that people are atheists, but they should at least be intelligent enough to have a small modicum of knowledge of what people of faith actually believe about earthly matters.

I watched the EWTN service on TV so don’t have to stream. I have to try the dressing up thing next time me & my wife were not dressed. We did the responses to try to feel it more. During the Liturgical Eucharist prayer I did kneel down to try to experience it more. I like the lighting candles thing, will try it next time. With that said still missing the partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. I just found out that my parish is doing the Mass on a you tube channel will watch it next week. Apparently according to my reading of the president, will be doing this for another month.

The familiarity of your own priest and surroundings you already know will help you.

Some people seem rather excited to report closings of churches and furthering of that trajectory because of this historical event.

For people who are truly connected to their faith (of any faith expression, not just Catholics), I have a sense that the eventual all-clear to start up again will leave them with an even greater hunger for it.

You might consider people who lived under Soviet rule who were denied access to their churches for 70 YEARS. And yet the faith survived there.

In some respects, this period of abstinence from the Sacraments is like an extended Holy Saturday. No masses. No services. No Sacraments. But then comes the glorious thrill of Easter. Eventually this social “stone” will also be rolled away. May those of us to take our religious practices and Sacraments with full seriousness find an ever deeper love for (and devotion to) those things we’re denied in these days!

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There is no consecration, so there is no partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Christ. I miss that as well, but came to the conclusion I can still break a small piece of bread and drink a bit of wine embracing the memory of Christ and having the memory of Him fill me from within. Not the same, but not nothing, either.