Churches are pondering re-opening for limited services, revamping Vacation Bible School online and rethinking their communities whether or not COVID-19 has impacted their congregations directly.
The fallout has been felt no matter whether or not a church has lost members to the virus and this month, we look at the so-called “new normal” that is emerging in the broader church with the help of Deanna Thompson, the Director of the Lutheran Center for Faith, Values and Leadership at St. Olaf College. She reveals churches’ uneasy embrace of technology and the role various technologies have played in keeping us together or at least for now.
“These days it’s not just the very sick or the very frail who are connecting digitally with the virtual body of Christ; it’s most every churchgoer,” she wrote. “Christian communities are scrambling to offer online worship, virtual youth group, remote Bible studies and more in response to the call to avoid physical contact with one another during this time of pandemic.”
Bob Buntruck, a semi-retired chemist, this month reviews issues regarding vaccination and the public’s reticence to embrace new vaccines. He wrote that most if not all states have regulations regarding the necessity for children to be enrolled in public schools to have been administered a suite of medically recommended vaccinations. The rationale is to achieve “herd immunity,” typically a minimum of about 95%.
“With the God-given grace and freedom given to us through Christ, comes responsibility,” he writes.
In our news section, we look at the growing number of resources available to congregations online. For instance, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has dedicated a portion of its website to providing resources to help congregations stay connected and remain resilient in this uncertain time of global pandemic.
We will end with an intercessory prayer from the Lutheran World Federation:
Grant us your spirit of love and self-discipline so that we may come together, working to control and eliminate the coronavirus. Hear our cry, O God, Listen to our prayer.