During this time, when not all church members can attend services in person, how can church members stay connected and engaged with their fellow parishioners while waiting for a return to Sunday services in the church building? Interacting with our church family members is an important part of our Christian life.
One suggestion is to provide many diverse small-group Zoom-activities. The groups can have totally unrelated purposes, but it is important for each parishioner to be motivated to join at least one of the small groups on Zoom.
Examples of these groups could be: Bible studies, book discussion groups, a weekly coffee hour, a teen group, a singles group, a parents with infants (toddlers, teens) group, a group for those who have experienced a loss and are grieving, phone committees to keep tabs on every parishioner each week, Daughters of the King, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and many others.
Of particular value is a Bible Study. It is interesting and informative to study the lectionary scriptures that are read each Sunday during the both the in-person service and any service transmitted online. When the Sunday service is held online, the parishioners can study the scriptures during the week prior to their being read during the church service. This helps make the scriptures read on Sundays easier to understand and the sermon more meaningful and applicable to their lives.
The Revised Common Lectionary Bible Study has been developed specifically for this purpose. In addition, it is the author’s hope that praying together, reading, studying and discussing the scriptures will help each participant to develop a closer relationship with the Lord.
The Revised Common Lectionary Bible Study team hopes that these suggestions will be helpful and that church members will be able to stay in touch with each other in meaningful and productive activities during this unusual period in our lives.
For more information on leading an online virtual meeting, see the accompanying article Conducting Bible Studies During the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic.