Public Health Expert on Tap: What’s Ahead for Congregations

by Mary Frances

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last week and came upon a congregation having a midweek service. The camera angle was from the back of the congregation and the quality wasn’t great but I could still see what was going on. People looked kind of spread out around the space. A few were moving around. I didn’t see anyone wearing a mask but some with their backs to the camera might have been. A worship leader was standing in front of a microphone at the top of the center aisle. She spoke about a song she wanted them to sing during Sunday worship and was going to teach it to them right then, let them practice it. I was so surprised! I felt like I could have been watching a super spreader event in action, somehow complicit by just watching. I quickly moved on.

As I thought about that congregation, I wondered what process they had used to come to the decision to worship in-person. What data informed their decisions? What did congregational singing look like now? What about congregational prayers? How many of them might be infecting their neighbors as I watched? Or was it all safer than I imagined?  All of these questions and more led us to invite Carl Johnson to our next webinar. Carl is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). He helps companies create safe workplaces and is an expert in the public health field. Since congregations are trying to create safe gathering spaces, it seemed like Carl could help us navigate the current landscape. Certainly we know a thing or two more about Covid than we did last March but….what do we really know? What about surface contact? What about aerosols? What about masks? What about communion or sharing the peace? 

If you have as many questions as I do, join us for our FREE webinar on Wednesday, September 30th at 1:00pm ET (12:00pm CT). Bring your questions and feel free to bring your questions. Let’s get some clarity about Covid-19 today.