If you are looking for an online church, whether because of lockdown, ill health, or any other reason, please consider St Barnabas Anglican Church in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). This church is not affiliated with the blog in any way, but has proved a source of comfort and fellowship to some of its members.
Saint Barnabas is an Anglo-Catholic church, which may be suitable for a number of readers of this blog, especially those who would like to attend something more traditional but feel unable to follow a Latin liturgy. St Barnabas broadcasts its services live and offers Zoom bible study sessions. Don’t forget to like and subscribe, so that you are notified of services in advance, and to visit their website. If you live in the UK, don’t forget the time-zone difference: the morning Sunday Eucharist service is broadcast at 15:55 UK time.
The intention of this post is not to recommend a particular church over another, and so contributors and readers of the blog are welcome to put links to other church services that they have found helpful in the comments below, whether of their main, pre-lockdown church, or one they discovered after the inception of the pandemic.
I am mindful that for many, their own normal church may not provide online services or they may feel that they were in any event looking to explore something different. This pandemic has given many of us pause and, indeed, forced some churches to close where they were not able to put sufficient financial support structures in place.
Online church is, of course, not the same as attending in person. For those of us in the UK who await in-person services again, the return to these, once authorised again, may not be straightforward. My own “mother church”, if you like, is Baptist. Accordingly, the return to in-person services, though led by the leadership team, will be in consultation and collaboration with the members, who elect the leaders and vote on important matters.
As we look forward to gathering once again, many of us will be pensive, reflecting on where our walk with God will lead, and what the communal aspect of that walk will look like. For some, the focus will be on receiving the sacraments again; for others it will be about the public worship of God through our prayers and hymns; for others still, it will be about outreach ministries in various forms.
But there will also be those who are new to the faith, nervous perhaps about attending a church in person for the first time (or the first time after a long absence). In addition, there will no doubt be those whose faith has been challenged by the pandemic (or had their pre-existing concerns forced to the surface by it). Returning to “normal life” for these two groups may mean attending an Alpha Course or some other appropriate structured meetings or sessions to learn the fundamentals of Christianity (or have them re-examined and re-affirmed).
I hope that this blog will be of use to people in all of the above circumstances and that we all continue to support one another in any way we can.