COVID-19: What Are We Learning From Churches?

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Many of you receiving The Brief have been having conversations with pastors and church staff about COVID this Spring. Through these calls we’re learning that:

  • There’s a very wide continuum of responses, ranging from creative proactivity to confused anxiety, with a strong leaning towards the former.
  • Several pastors’ prayer groups and mutual support teams have been formed.
  • Many are grateful for the denomination’s care and responsiveness.
  • There’s considerable concern about the future. How long will this take? Will we ever sing together again? How flexible can we be with matters like communion, baptisms, professions of faith, and so on? It’s clear we’ll all be opening at a different pace; comparisons are best avoided.
  • Our societal polarizations around COVID-19 are also present in our churches, though generally to a lesser degree.

During the past few weeks, the intersection of COVID with the need for racial reconciliation has awoken profound longings for churches to be centers of gospel healing and hope. What does that mean for us who serve congregations and their leaders? It’s clear we are in a significant historical moment, and we’ll be working through the implications of that question for years to come. The Brief will participate in these conversations during the coming months — stay tuned.

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