Worship During a Global Pandemic – Dan Chadwick

Worship during a Global Pandemic – Rev. Dan Chadwick, Region Minister ABC-IN/KY

Well, here we are, in the midst of a global pandemic. Many businesses are shut down. Only the “essential businesses” are still open. Some restaurants are open for pickup. Grocery stores are still open. Many of us are holed up in our homes. Trying not “catch” the dreaded virus of the day, as well as, not wanting to pass it on to others. Many people are not currently working due to the pandemic and therefore wondering how they will be able to pay their bills and buy groceries for their family. The heroes of the day, are the medical staff who continue to do their job of taking care of us despite their own susceptibility to this virus.

So, day after day, we stay at home, for the most part. And sometimes we get a bit anxious. This is new territory for most of us. In our lifetimes we have not had to limit our movement to this extent. So we can get a bit antsy. And we wonder, when will it end. When will we be able to go about our “normal” routines? We even wonder if our new “normal” will be the same as our old “normal”. We don’t know.

Many churches and church leaders have tried to make the best of this situation by utilizing technology and trying new ways of “doing” church. In our region we have churches conducting worship using FaceBook live, Zoom Bible studies and FM radio worship services with our cars in the parking lot. So, in many ways we are, not only making the best of the situation, we are even thriving as we attempt new ways of doing church.

For some folks, this has been incredibly meaningful. For others, it has been ok, but we don’t have the same sense of connection that we had when we were worshipping together in one room. Possibly, that is to be expected. It is different. Physical presence is not the same as virtual presence. We just don’t have that same sense of connectedness to one another.

However, we need to remember “Who” we worship. We worship God, whether in the physical or virtual presence of other people. In fact, this might be an opportunity to be with God in a manner in which our former busy lifestyles did not lend itself to.

Rev. Bruce Bridgewater, Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Leota, in his preparations for the Lenten season, talked about listening to the unheard God. Part of his point was that we are so busy and our prayers are full of requests, that we seldom stop to just “be” with God. To be in God’s presence. To listen to what God has to say to us. To feel or sense that comforting peace from the Spirit of God that “passes all understanding”.

So, I would encourage you during this time of social isolation, to find a comfortable spot, free from noise and distraction and Be with God. The prayer that my spiritual director frequently recites is: “Come Holy Spirit Come”. Open yourself to the Spirit of God and enjoy God’s presence even during these times of isolation.