How are you socially connecting during the coronavirus?

Hi @Interested_in_Church,

In a very abrupt and dramatic way, many of us have been asked or required to practice what is known as “social distancing.” I think it is very important that we respect our public health authorities and follow this guidance as a means of loving our neighbors and restricting the spread of the coronavirus.

However, I’ve heard many suggest we choose a better phrase: “physically distancing.” The goal isn’t to break our social ties, only our physical proximity.

So I’m curious to hear… what some of the most creative ways you’ve practiced or seen people find ways to socially connect while honoring the need for physically distancing?

To get us started, I’ll share one idea. A family member went out to dinner with a friend. They both brought dinner in their own cars, parked six feet away from each other, rolled down the windows, and had a conversation while eating dinner in their own vehicles. I think this is an immensely creative and wonderful way to maintain a friendship without risking any spread of the coronavirus.

Please share yours! Of course, please think it through and be careful not to suggest ideas that could put others at risk.

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My youth group has been meeting through Zoom (video conferencing app). We have been able to have Sunday school and we are planning on continuing our Bible study Wednesday night that we started before the virus became severe called “Faith in an Anxious World.” It is so fitting for this time so I am glad we will continue this study.

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Our church leadership team are currently looking into doing church as you’ve described, @CarsonWeitnauer. We’re surrounded by agricultural land so will look for a field and get everyone to drive and park, wind down our windows and share in live worship together.

I was reading this article earlier about how we can practice hospitality amidst this isolation. I think there’s some really nice ideas about connecting with people without breaching the rules.

I’ve got to go now as we’re starting our church small group Zoom meeting :wink:.

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With the children in my world I am Duo chatting and we continue to write our adventure spy story. I just mailed the spy invisibility goggles. (aka swim goggles) On Sunday one of our Moms called over Duo and asked what could she do to make her daughter visible? She was sure she was close by. There leaning on top of her Mom’s head was the missing little girl. Giggling with plastic eye balls stuck to her forehead! I told Mom make some hot tea and sip on it and she would be able to see her missing secret agent.

I am calling Elders, my family and others from my childhood church. I plan to expand my writing campaign. This is fun and uplifting for me as well!

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My church is doing everything via Zoom:

  • Sunday service

  • Daily mid-day prayer

  • Weekly adult Bible study

  • Weekly youth Bible study

It’s been a bit painful listening to people figure out they need to mute themselves (and watching the pastors figure out how to use Zoom), but I have to applaud this parish for its heroic effort to keep everyone together during this time. They even reinstituted “vestry groups”, which once existed but were disbanned, so that someone among the laity is responsible for a group of us. That person calls us every now and then just to check that everything is ok.

In every Zoom meeting, we put prayer requests in the chat box and pray for those at some appointed time during the meeting, and before and afterwards they leave the Zoom window open for everyone to socialize. I’m still working (and frankly, and perfectly happy being a hermit), but I can only imagine how important that time is for the elderly and extroverts.

I’ve also called friends more often and check in on my dad daily now. And our neighborhood has a listserv, so I follow people on that (although my gosh do people seem to be getting very cranky!).

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We have been doing our small groups through Zoom as well. We have not yet found a way to do a Sunday service live, so the team of people puts together a video (some worship music and a sermon from our pastor) on Saturday and sends it to everyone at our usual gathering time on Sunday. This way we are hoping to all be in the same Spirit, if not together physically.

I noticed that people often rely heavily on a specific atmosphere of a church gathering, especially during prayer meetings: worship music, dimmed lights. So they are worried Zoom prayer evenings would be awkward or will have long pauses. As much as I understand all this, I am praying that we can trust God enough to lead us even in such unusual circumstances.

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