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Michelle Ford gets a temperature check on her way to worship with the Somprasong 4 Church of Christ in Bangkok.
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Photo by Gary Ford

Scenes from a pandemic

Churches of Christ around the world share photos of their social distancing efforts.

In these unprecedented times I thought it might be interesting to see how Churches of Christ around the world are going about the task of “social distancing.” Following are a few photos and stories that were sent to me over the past few days.

I’d love to see your photos and learn how your congregation is finding ways to stay connected in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please email me.

ROME, Italy — We recently reported on the Viale Jonio Church of Christ in Rome and shared a photo of church members spreading themselves out across the church’s meeting space. That was just before a nationwide ban on gatherings – even small ones — so this past Sunday the church met entirely online. Tonia Vitalone sent me this photo:

Members of the Viale Jonio Church of Christ in Rome, Italy, meet for worship online.

Members of the Viale Jonio Church of Christ in Rome, Italy, meet for worship online.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Youth minister Jim Hinkle shared this photo of the staff of the Sycamore View Church of Christ practicing social distancing during a staff meeting.

A social-distancing staff meeting at Sycamore View in Memphis.

A social-distancing staff meeting at Sycamore View in Memphis.

MANILA, Philippines — This Southeast Asian capital went into a full-scale lockdown just before Sunday worship, so members of the Twinville and Friendship Road Churches of Christ met in their homes. Here’s a photo sent by minister and ministry director Danni de Vera. I did a feature on Metro Manila Ministries, which he directs, in 2017. (Follow the link to find a cute video of a kid who memorized a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet.)

Sunday worship in metro Manila.

Sunday worship in metro Manila.

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The Collegeside Church of Christ, which is serving as a hub of disaster relief after the recent Tennessee tornadoes, went to livestream for its Sunday services. Members of Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, which is working with the church, hosted their own Sunday service.

Tornado relief workers worship in Cookeville, Tenn.

Tornado relief workers worship in Cookeville, Tenn.

 

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — Levi Sisemore, minister of worship and involvement for the Fredericksburg Church of Christ, shared this story about his efforts to serve visitors on Sunday even after the congregation canceled in-person worship services. Check out this “Voices only” of Levi’s 6-year-old son leading singing.

I went down to the church building this morning just a little before we would have normally had Bible class. I thought…

Posted by Levi Sisemore on Sunday, March 15, 2020

BANGKOK — The Somprasong 4 (called “Soy 4”) Church of Christ had its regular worship service on Sunday, but everybody got a temperature check on the way in. I visited Thailand in 2016 and wrote this feature about Gary and Michelle Ford’s coffeehouse ministry there. I also wrote about the church’s outreach to refugees from Pakistan who survived attacks by the Taliban.

Michelle Ford gets a temperature check on her way to worship with the Somprasong 4 Church of Christ in Bangkok.

Michelle Ford gets a temperature check on her way to worship with the Somprasong 4 Church of Christ in Bangkok.

MANASSAS, Va. — Aimee Snow sent me this photo of a livestream from her congregation, the Manassas Church of Christ just outside Washington, D.C. Scenes like this were repeated across the nation and will be again this Sunday.

A livestream of worship from the Manassas Church of Christ in Virginia.

A livestream of worship from the Manassas Church of Christ in Virginia.

FISHERS, Ind. — David L. Duke and his family found a creative way to simulate the Lord’s Supper experience during their at-home worship. I met David in 2018 in Vienna, Austria. He was working with the Pohlgasse Church of Christ, which has among its members a mix of folks from Nigeria and the Middle East. I wrote a story about a training seminar hosted by the church for its newly baptized members.

The topic: the Lord’s Supper.

"Seemed fitting to use medicine cups," said David L. Duke.

“Seemed fitting to use medicine cups,” said David L. Duke.

QUITO, Ecuador — The Campbell family, missionaries in this South American capital, worshiped in their home after the Ecuadoran government restricted meetings of 30 or more people. “But we participated in four online services in the USA,” Rusty Campbell said. “This included a livestream into our main sponsoring church’s worship. (We) even participated in the Lord’s Super with them.”

The Campbell family watches streaming worship services in their home in Ecuador.

The Campbell family watches streaming worship services in their home in Ecuador.

Finally, I’d like to share a few photos from my home congregation, the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. The church’s youth ministry staff had a “drive-thru devotional” of sorts where kids (including my daughter, Maggie) picked up the Bibles they usually keep at the church building so they can do home studies. The drive-thru included song requests, a care package from the ministry staff and notecards addressed to youth group members so everybody could stay in touch — without physical contact, of course — and encourage each other.

 

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From Erik: Our congregation, @memorialroad Church of Christ, had a drive-thru devo so kids could pick up the study Bibles they usually leave at the building. The drive-thru also included song requests (my 12-year-old picked Beethoven, no joke!) care packages and pre-addressed notecards so the kids can write words of encouragement to each other. #covid_19 #covıd19 #coronavirus #churchofchrist #youthministry #youthministryideas

A post shared by The Christian Chronicle (@christianchronicle) on

Filed under: Church of Christ Coronavirus covid Covid and church COVID-19 Ecuador Features International Italy Italy and COVID-19 National Pakistan Philippines quarantine Southeast Asia Top Stories Youth ministry

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