How is your church adapting for COVID-19?

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Posts 3376
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 10:11 AM

No church for three weeks. Here on the Canadian Prairies.  FB'ing streaming for the preacher's message. We have over 400 in regular attendance. 

It's all too silly this thing. No toilet paper to be had. Hand wipes all gone. Canned goods at Walmart not to be had. 

Seriously, what on earth are ppl going to do with a $&!& load of toilet paper? A years' worth? c'mon! Get a life. Anyway maybe it is an alien thing like the previous member viciously quipped. Didn't David Icke say something about this during one of his other worldly highs in that jungle he travelled?

All schools in our Province are going to shut down for three weeks beginning the 23rd. If it's so bad why wait for a week to shut schools I ask? 

Last night we went to the annual RV Show at our convention center and five minutes before it opened they shut it down. Well at least I saved $100,000 on a new toy. So we went for dinner and cocktails. Not me though. I was the DD Beer I just enjoyed my company.

I best stop before I tell you how I really feel about the beer flu. Corona virus. Maybe it's a combo of the flu and mad cow disease - affecting the brain. Ok I better stop.

mm.

mm.

Posts 63

I'm in Brazil. Some locations with more cases are restricting public gatherings (with some churchs transmiting the services in Facebook), but for now is not our case.
We are a small congregation (around 40), and this week the sunday services will happen normally.
But we are thinking about the next weeks.

Posts 10884
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 3:08 PM

Milkman:
It's all too silly this thing. No toilet paper to be had. Hand wipes all gone. Canned goods at Walmart not to be had. 

Don't feel bad. Our Japan agents (son & co) warned us what to quickly buy days back. We said, surely not. They were adament. And right. People around the world, all the same.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 4:20 PM

We have several thousand that gather each week at our church, so we are decentralizing on campus. Rooms with no more than 250 persons in them and the service will be live in our main sanctuary and live-streamed to the extension rooms. It displaces our youth service, but we will have that in another room to make way for adult services.

We are making changes as the situation changes and communicating via social media, email, phones calls, and texts to volunteers and other church leaders who can relay the word to their circles. We have increased our cleaning protocols. We're located in Southern California, but have not had any cases in our county, so we are trying to be cautious without shutting too many things down. All other meetings, events, and gatherings at the church have been canceled until further notice.

We are preparing for tighter restrictions to go online-only or in small home groups potentially. I personally think online-only is not a comprehensive long-term plan, so our pastoral staff is working to get our plans in place should this stretch into weeks or months. I am the Youth Pastor at my church. I greatly appreciate the info shared here and will pass it along!   

In other related news... I have found it fascinating to read Martin Luther's "Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague (1527)" from Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings. He's surprisingly relevant in his mention of quarantine, pastoral responsibility, cleanliness (considering his time period, of course), and even-handedness between practicality and spirituality.

Also, I recently read Stark's "Rise of Christianity" (not in Logos) and it had a chapter detailing the Christian response to the decimating smallpox outbreaks in second-century Rome. You can read (Chapter 4) it in the preview on Google Books. The church's self-sacrificing response is heroic. That chapter was based on an article he wrote in Semeia 56, “Epidemics, Networks, and the Rise of Christianity”.

MBPro'12 / i5 / 8GB // 3.0 Scholars (Purple) / L6 & L7 Platinum, M&E Platinum, Anglican Bronze, P&C Silver / L8 Platinum, Academic Pro

Posts 2564
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 5:17 PM

Milkman:

All schools in our Province are going to shut down for three weeks beginning the 23rd. If it's so bad why wait for a week to shut schools I ask? 

Many expect that it will get worse in a week or two.  BUT be prepared for them to shut down mid week.

And to all that listed what they were to doing: Thank! I have sent copies to my Elders as they are reviewing what we will do next.  

Posts 7202
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 5:47 PM

I feel you Milkman! What’s wrong with people?!!! Makes you wonder if they’ve actually been washing their hands and wiping their butts before the coronavirus came along! I could actually understand if stores ran out of hand sanitizers, but toilet paper??? Really???  ๐Ÿงป ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ What kind of upsets me about this is how ridiculous people get and how they don’t think about other people just themselves! Stores should have a policy that states only one pack of 36 roll of toilet paper per family like they do with the water when a hurricane is about to hit.  But oh well!

I love my bidet! And yes, I’m glad walmart still has toilet paper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

DAL

Posts 652
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 6:07 PM

Richard, many thanks for reporting your reading with linksSmile

Posts 4908
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 6:20 PM

I've been convinced for a couple of weeks that trying to prevent this pandemic is going to be orders of magnitude worse that the pandemic itself. Whatever the severity of this in terms of deaths (lets just consider the US), whether it's just thousands dead or possibly hundreds of thousands dead...that outcome will be a blip on the agony scale compared to the deliberate destruction we are inflicting upon ourselves trying to "dodge the bullet". I fear the worldwide socio-economic destruction we are inflicting by shutting down all human society is going to be much, much, much worse than the Great Depression. The time to hunker down was in January--it's too late now. As I see it, trying to avoid the impact of this pandemic is like stepping off the sidewalk into the street, where trying to avoid a cyclist on sidewalk simply puts you in the immediate path of a Mack truck. Of the two, viral pandemic and economic cataclysm, the second EASILY has the capacity to be far more horrible and devastating. This thing could easily last through the end of the summer if not longer, and widespread hunger and riots in the streets could make the death toll from the virus seem quaint. I suppose it is possible that the government could tell people to "return to their normal activities" when those social fabric rendings begin to manifest, but at that point, we won't just have to contend with the disaster of an utterly spent health and medical system, we will be trying to do so while being eyeball-deep in the worst economically-spurred food and humanity crisis anyone has ever seen. The ONLY way we can recover from the terrible devastation of this pandemic is by having an economic engine that has been week-by-week deliberately tooling itself for that needed recovery...only that CAN NEVER HAPPEN, because we are already well into the process of disassembling the engine down to its component parts and in some cases we appear to be melting down some of the most important parts just because.

The best way to deal with the virus is to do what we do in the face of the flu virus...soldier on.

That said, it wouldn't hurt to wonder if this is a judgment of YHWH. I know both sides of the political spectrum in this country have pissed Him off...that ought to be painfully obvious. Remember how He ridicules those who try to hide in caves to avoid His reach? Yeah...that.

Here's to hoping I'm Chicken Little. Confused

Posts 1365
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 6:39 PM

Friends,

How do you do Holy Communion when church has to be closed for an extended period of time?

Peter

Posts 7202
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 6:57 PM

PL:

Friends,

How do you do Holy Communion when church has to be closed for an extended period of time?

Peter

Easy, buy unleavened bread (Mazzo) and grape juice so you can partake of communion at home.

DAL

Ps. You can read 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, then pray for the bread, eat it and then pray for the grape juice and drink it.  Have a short meditation on Jesus’s sacrifice for you and that should do it.

Posts 218
MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 7:36 PM

David Paul:
That said, it wouldn't hurt to wonder if this is a judgment of YHWH. I know both sides of the political spectrum in this country have pissed Him off...that ought to be painfully obvious. Remember how He ridicules those who try to hide in caves to avoid His reach? Yeah...that.

Or perhaps its the Lord's way of awakening a world out of its complacency and self-sufficiency and turning their hearts towards Him in repentance.

Perhaps we are on the threshold of a great revival?

Or could it be both (judgment and revival) simultaneously?

Or in retrospect could this end up just being like the swine flu part 2? 

Stay tuned...

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 7:47 PM

Steve Maling:

Richard, many thanks for reporting your reading with linksSmile

You're Welcome!

PL:

Friends,

How do you do Holy Communion when church has to be closed for an extended period of time?

Peter

I would agree with DAL. It's BYOB - Bring your own bread! Unless your tradition prohibits the laity from administering communion, families can partake in their homes or home groups. It could be facilitated by a minister online giving instruction and scripture reading, while families partake in their homes. Family members could be distributed online, email, etc, a devotional reading that could instruct them - I find most lay-persons are not practiced in administering the sacraments.  I am a bit of a non-traditionalist with communion, however, having administered it to students with welch's grape juice and sweet, Hawaiian bread. (YUM!) I've yet to use grape soda... So take my advice with caution... Ha!

David Paul:
trying to prevent this pandemic is going to be orders of magnitude worse that the pandemic itself.

David, I would tend to agree with you... but am trying to be realistically optimistic. I think the societal reaction gives me greater concern than the actual disease, but then again, I am youngish, healthy, and have a fully functioning immune system. Calm is in order; may the Church lead the way in our tempered, faith-filled, and thoughtful reactions.

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Posts 28963
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 14 2020 9:07 PM

Richard Villanueva:
Unless your tradition prohibits the laity from administering communion, families can partake in their homes or home groups. It could be facilitated by a minister online giving instruction and scripture reading, while families partake in their homes. Family members could be distributed online, email, etc, a devotional reading that could instruct them - I find most lay-persons are not practiced in administering the sacraments

Few traditions prohibit laity from administering communion, to the best of my knowledge. The question is whether laity can consecrate the bread and wine. However, a number of traditions make allowance for an agape feast which does not require consecration.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1259
Paul Caneparo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 15 2020 9:35 AM

We had positive feedback today to our online streamed service. Obviously some learning points too, as it was our first ever. The greatest effort was in the video editing, as the sermon slides were integrated into the video of the preaching. We recorded yesterday and streamed from the time of our usual Sunday service.

Posts 3376
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 15 2020 11:14 AM

lol!

DAL:

I feel you Milkman! What’s wrong with people?!!! Makes you wonder if they’ve actually been washing their hands and wiping their butts before the coronavirus came along! I could actually understand if stores ran out of hand sanitizers, but toilet paper??? Really???  ๐Ÿงป ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ What kind of upsets me about this is how ridiculous people get and how they don’t think about other people just themselves! Stores should have a policy that states only one pack of 36 roll of toilet paper per family like they do with the water when a hurricane is about to hit.  But oh well!

I love my bidet! And yes, I’m glad walmart still has toilet paper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

DAL

mm.

Posts 7202
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 15 2020 1:37 PM

Milkman:

lol!

DAL:

I feel you Milkman! What’s wrong with people?!!! Makes you wonder if they’ve actually been washing their hands and wiping their butts before the coronavirus came along! I could actually understand if stores ran out of hand sanitizers, but toilet paper??? Really???  ๐Ÿงป ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ What kind of upsets me about this is how ridiculous people get and how they don’t think about other people just themselves! Stores should have a policy that states only one pack of 36 roll of toilet paper per family like they do with the water when a hurricane is about to hit.  But oh well!

I love my bidet! And yes, I’m glad walmart still has toilet paper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

DAL

I found this on Facebook:

Just a reminder. Even the CDC said to have 30 days of necessities on hand. Just in case.

Which means....

Unless you have a medical problem, no one goes through 240 rolls of TP in 30 days.

Unless you want to fill your bathtub with Purel, no one needs 5 liters of hand sanitizer for 30 days.

Unless you are setting up your own sterile laboratory with stage 3 quarantine protocols, you do not need 12 bottles of Lysol for 30-days.

Unless you are expecting you will be sick with a fever every day of the 30 days, and you will be around others during that entire time, and you replace your face mask once every 10 minutes, NO ONE needs 800 face masks for 30 days.

Unless you are babysitting 10 babies, no one needs over 50 packages of baby-wipes for 30 days.

Because...and hear this.

Others need toilet paper.
Others need hand sanitizer.
Others need lysol.
Others need baby-wipes.
Others, when they are sick and have to be out in public, need masks.

You are making yourself less safe by hoarding.
Because you are making it harder for others to be safe,
and to take reasonable precautions against disease.

Very straightforward! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

Posts 2587
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 15 2020 3:20 PM

DAL:

I found this on Facebook:

Just a reminder. Even the CDC said to have 30 days of necessities on hand. Just in case.

Which means....

Unless you have a medical problem, no one goes through 240 rolls of TP in 30 days.

Unless you want to fill your bathtub with Purel, no one needs 5 liters of hand sanitizer for 30 days.

Unless you are setting up your own sterile laboratory with stage 3 quarantine protocols, you do not need 12 bottles of Lysol for 30-days.

Unless you are expecting you will be sick with a fever every day of the 30 days, and you will be around others during that entire time, and you replace your face mask once every 10 minutes, NO ONE needs 800 face masks for 30 days.

Unless you are babysitting 10 babies, no one needs over 50 packages of baby-wipes for 30 days.

Because...and hear this.

Others need toilet paper.
Others need hand sanitizer.
Others need lysol.
Others need baby-wipes.
Others, when they are sick and have to be out in public, need masks.

You are making yourself less safe by hoarding.
Because you are making it harder for others to be safe,
and to take reasonable precautions against disease.

Very straightforward! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

The Voice of Reason

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 18867
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 1:40 AM

We are a small church (~50) in Vancouver, BC. We decided to have the service as usual yesterday morning, though people with respiratory symptoms or weakened immune systems were encouraged to stay home, we had hand sanitizer available at the entrance, and coffee/tea only (no food) after the service, and people were asked to avoid handshakes/hugs. In all 26 people showed up (I was away on a retreat, but I would have gone if I'd been in town). I heard it was a good service. As usual, the service was recorded on CD, and the sermon will be up on our website shortly. We're going to experiment with a live-streaming service soon.

The email that went around about the service going ahead sparked the first ever reply-all chain on our all-church email list. I'm guessing we'll be using email and phone calls more to keep in touch over the coming weeks. I'm also thinking of experimenting with some small group discussions using Zoom or some such. Problem is, many in our congregation are elderly and would probably struggle with the technology. I don't know how to help them not feel isolated, other than phone calls.

Posts 30
Olli-Pekka Ylisuutari | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 1:53 PM

Greetings from Finland Europe!

Today the Finnish government declared a state of emergency or a martial law, closing all schools and redirecting all teaching to be conducted remotely and digitally, via internet, social medias etc. to protect all the elderly and all in the risk groups.

All public meetings are restricted to 10 persons max. All state museums, theatres, the National Opera, culture houses, libraries, National Archive, hobby points, swimming halls, youth centres, community centres, societies etc. are to be closed until April 13th. The same thing is recommended to religious communities. The preparation for the closing of the national borders is being planned.

Today the collegium of the bishops of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland decreed that church services are to be held as Services of the Word instead of being Masses, so that only the people conducting the proceedings may be present. The services will be streamed online. The congregation is the one participating online. The church must be open after the service for quieting and private prayer so that a minister is present. It is not a public meeting, but the church is nevertheless open.

I have 3 baptism’s during the next three weeks and they all will be conducted so that max. 10 persons are present. Perhaps we will go online on those occasions, as well? I have one burial service during the next week. The bishops’ recommendation is that all the burials should be conducted outdoors by the grave, if possible – I’m not sure, if that is possible. The memorial services can be arranged with all the funerals later, as the corona situation calms down. I have only one wedding during the next 4 weeks.

90 % of all the meetings or encounters have been cancelled. It’s all online – whenever possible.

We have 500 teenagers at this parish this year only, who should get their Confirmation and all the classes and teaching done before that. 50 of them at my responsibility, and the rest with 8 of my colleagues and the Vicar. We will go online whenever possible. Miserere nobis! 

Posts 1045
JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 16 2020 2:45 PM

David Paul:
The best way to deal with the virus is to do what we do in the face of the flu virus...soldier on.
 

Sadly it is far worse than the flu. OK the percentage of deaths may be as low as flu would be or it may be as high as 4 or 5 % of those who catch it. The experts disagree.

I was there with you before I spoke to a dear Christian friend of my wife and myself only 35 years old who is like a daughter to us.

She shared with me her history of Pneumonia and Bronchitis almost in tears. My views changed. This is highly likely to be a death sentence to her if she falls ill with the virus. That is not an exaggeration according to Doctor friends.

There are unlikely to be enough hi-tech hospital ‘Breathers’ available in any country once it really gets going so people will die who might have been saved. Maybe 20% of those who catch it will need hospitalisation which will need far more beds than are available. Believe me, it is not an easy death as it effectively shreds your lung tissue as you are dying.

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