Worship in times of COVID

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Mendalla

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Checking around this morning, I see most UCCan services in London are still on, but with precautions and advice that high-risk people not attend. Other events at the congregation are mostly cancelled or moving online (for things like Council meetings). Did not check Metropolitan (we went once and haven't been back so I don't even have them bookmarked) but their main service is broadcast on a local radio station anyway so maybe they are cancelling in-person. The Unitarians have cancelled. North Park Community, the evangelical "mega-church" (as close to one as we have in my area at any rate) is cancelling services but they do a livestream so have that as an alternative.

We had some discussion about what people and churches are doing in another thread, but thought it was a good topic on its own.

I know Hillhurst United in Calgary live streams even when they have in-person services (may already be on, forget the time). They even have buttons on their website for making a donation and requesting prayers. Other options for those practicing social distancing? It's pretty progressive as I understand it, what about something for more traditional folks?

Here North Park Community in Southwestern Ontario (they have like four "campuses") for those of a more evangelical bent: North Park Community Church - Covid-19. The services for their various congregations are on the left side.
 

Mendalla

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By evangelical bent, I mean "bible-based", socially conservative, traditional theology, not LGBTQ-friendly.
 

Mendalla

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We are closed for 2 weeks

I know one church here is closing down all but services for 3 (here in Ontario, schools are closed for March Break this week plus the two weeks after so they are using that as a starting point). Their executive is having virtual meetings weekly to discuss things like whether to end in-person worship and other changes to their plans.
 

paradox3

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My church is not having a service today although the sanctuary is open for quiet meditation. Our building is relatively new and small, so I think this is a good call. It would not be possible to practice the recommended "social distancing" on a regular Sunday morning.

A nearby congregation is open for worship but they have a larger sanctuary and a smaller congregation. Might go there next week if everything is status quo. Although much may have changed by next Sunday!
 

Mendalla

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By the way, if you're involved in church governance and want to take your meetings online, the basic package from Zoom cloud-based conferencing software is free and only the host (ie. the person initiating the meeting) actually needs to sign up for an account. There is a forty minute limit on the free package but that should be sufficient for quick meetings to discuss a specific issue like how to handle COVID in a service or something. The lowest paid tier, which removes that limit and adds some features, is $20/mth/host. So you could have, say, the board chair sign up and expense it to the church. It might be a useful tool in the long haul, at least for shorter meetings.

 

paradox3

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A Catholic church in our town changed its practices for passing the peace back in the SARS days. Instead of shaking hands or hugging, they introduced the Namaste greeting and/ or the V peace sign. They never returned to the old ways which is kind of interesting. I wonder if some of the changes we are making now will turn out to be permanent.
 

Waterfall

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Well after the initial email the church I go to decided on Friday to close and just have a streamed broadcast. I wasnt going to go anyway so no big deal.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Church services are still going on here in Oz. The only exception is those with congregations over 500 -which is not a lot.

At our mission church we have many folks that are vulnerable -so the pews, etc were disinfected and you had to use hand sanitizer before you entered the church. About 30 attended yesterday -and we were told to space ourselves out. Instead of passing the peace, we all stood up and waved at each other.

I'm glad I went - I was feeling anxious, but social isolation isn't good for folks who live alone. There will probably come a time when we do have to self-isolate, but for the moment I think it's better to take sensible precautions and socialise whilst we still can -just keep away from the elderly and those with compromised immunity. I say this, knowing that, despite the precautions I take, there is a strong possibility I will catch this virus -hopefully when there is a vaccine just around the corner.

I was rewarded by a wonderful sermon from our minister. He spoke how we, who live in relatively affluent countries, often think that security is something we can have, yet this virus is a reminder just how vulnerable we all are. Mankind is part of nature, but this is yet another reminder -after our bushfires - than we don't control nature.

(As someone who follows Process Theology, I don't believe God can't control this virus -but it's reassuring to feel God is sharing my anxiety, etc with me.)
 

Northwind

Still knitting. Walking the path to health.
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My church is still having services with some modifications. There will no longer be hand holding during the last hymn. Greeters will open doors for people and hand sanitizers will be around. They are looking at changes to communion. Of course, no hand shakes.

We stayed home today.
 

You just never know

Blip, blip, blip....
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Hillhurst is closed for the foreseeable future. First Sunday since 1918 that the church was not open for folks. We do have a facebook live service each week which I have attended in the past when not up for going out. The facebook service today was Rev John and Rev Don chatting and giving their thoughts on things. Also had a musical trio instead of the full choir. Usually on facebook less than 50 people tune in and today was over 200. Glad to have the connection even only on the computer.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
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I tuned in to Hillhurst today, but got interrupted by a phone call & missed most of it - I'll listen in again once it's in archives. :)
 

Mendalla

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Er, that should read "I don't believe God can control this virus"...... (Divine intervention?)
I can't remember how to edit this -has something changed?

There's a half hour limit on editing posts (up from the old fifteen minutes). After that, you have to Report your own post and ask to have a mod fix it. I tend to just leave my old typos lying around if I don't fix them in time. Kind of a reminder that even the WC2 Admin is a fallible human being. :ROFLMAO:
 

PilgrimsProgress

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There's a half hour limit on editing posts (up from the old fifteen minutes). After that, you have to Report your own post and ask to have a mod fix it. I tend to just leave my old typos lying around if I don't fix them in time.

Thanks, Mendalla - I didn't notice my error when I first posted.......
 

ChemGal

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I have known about some streaming options all along, but rarely used them. I think I will be now (although mornings aren't really my thing, so probably will do it afterwards) as a way to relax a bit. I do feel like I've had a lot of stressors piled onto me.
 
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