Local Church

Congregations
Linda Dobbyn, a parishioner at Vincennes First United Methodist Church in Vincennes, Ind., uses a new service called Sermon by Phone to listen to a sermon by the Rev.  Matt Swisher titled “Leading by Serving.” Photo by Richard Dobbyn.

Churches weigh options to reach seniors

In some small or rural churches, snail mail and telephones are still playing a big role in staying in touch with members of the congregation.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. Paul Escamilla takes to the pulpit at Lauren Heights United Methodist Church, in San Antonio, on June 14. The church reopened for in-person worship that Sunday but closed again the following Sunday and has remained closed because of high COVID-19 case numbers locally. Photo by David Smith, courtesy of Laurel Heights United Methodist Church.

Virus spikes close doors again at some churches

Decision to reopen for in-person worship is being reversed in areas with sharply rising COVID-19 numbers.
Local Church
The Rev. John Edgar, executive director of Community Development for All People in Columbus, Ohio, adds a gallon of milk to a food box packed for one of the hundreds of customers who get food each day from the organization. Photo courtesy of Community Development for All People.

‘Triple whammy’ of issues challenges pastors

Pastors are trying to mix a little self-care into their busy schedules dealing with the coronavirus, economic hard times and racial issues.
Worship
Michael Vaughn, director of music ministry at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station, Texas, has directed and edited virtual choir videos, including with his church’s children’s choir. United Methodist music ministers are coming up with creative ways to keep music going and keep choir members engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Michael Vaughn.

Pandemic challenges music ministers, choirs

With singing identified as a spreader of COVID-19, there’s a scramble to keep church music going and choir members engaged.

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