How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

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Katzpur
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Katzpur » 08 Jun 2020, 12:18

Here's the directive we just got from our ward. I've got to say that they've sure thought things through carefully and are being super diligent.

1. Sacrament meetings will recommence at the Chapel next Sunday, June 14th, at 10:00 a.m. The meetings will be 45 minutes long and consist of the Sacrament and a single speaker.
2. We will meet every two weeks (the 3rd Ward will meet on our "off" weeks).
3. We can only meet with a maximum of 99 people. If we need more than one meeting, we will determine when that meeting will be held and will notify everyone.
4. Everyone above the age of 2 who attends will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Please bring your own mask. We will have extra masks available for those who forget or do not have one.
5. Seating will be every third row. Families may sit together, but must distance themselves from other groups by at least 6 feet. The benches will be marked appropriately.
6. Ushers will greet and seat those who attend, loading the Chapel from the front to the back. At the conclusion of the meeting the ushers will dismiss the congregation row by row. Individuals should leave the building without stopping to chat with others inside. If you wish to socialize, please do so at an appropriate social distance once you are outside the building.
7. There will be no written programs, and no hymnals. Please either bring your own hymnal, or use your electronic device. You may sing quietly, or hum, with your mask on.
8. The Sacrament trays, table, and covering will be sanitized before and after each use. Those who administer and pass the Sacrament will wear masks, will sanitize their hands in view of the congregation, and will wear gloves. They will use the empty rows to pass the Sacrament to the congregation so that no one needs to touch the Sacrament trays. The bread will be broken and placed in a tray so that the pieces do not touch each other. The water cups will be placed in alternate rows and spaces on the trays so that they do not touch each other. A separate tray will be used for cup disposal. Parents should take the Sacrament bread and water from the trays for their young children.
9. Anyone who is in an "at risk" category (due to age, health, or other consideration) should not attend at this time.Anyone who feels uncomfortable with these procedures should not attend. Anyone who feels that, for whatever reason, now is not the time for them to come, should not attend. No one should feel pressured to attend. If anyone is uncomfortable about attending for any reason, they do not need to attend, and they should not feel guilty about it. They should determine, with the guidance of the Spirit, what is right for themselves and their families. I still authorize the administration of the Sacrament in our homes.
10. Each of you will be receiving a phone call from a member of the Ward leadership either today (Sunday) or tomorrow, to ask whether or not you are planning on attending at the Chapel next Sunday. If you do not receive a call by the end of Monday, please contact a member of the Bishopric and let us know.
"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Rudyard Kipling ~

grobert93
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by grobert93 » 08 Jun 2020, 12:24

I think that the church (regardless of who believes it is the truth restored church or not) recognizes that it's 2020 and nearly everyone has access to the internet and technology. This is a blessing and a curse for the church. Back in JS's day they could "get away" with a lot more (not just their history and culture, but "sharing" the sacrament cup), because it was harder to communicate science and health concerns, not to mention that they didn't have as much knowledge and resources as we do now. But now it's 2020 and especially with COVID, many of us are doing virtual appointments with professional certified doctors and other medical specialists. We can gain access to knowledge such as "COVID virus spreads vis droplets" and come to the conclusion that perhaps partaking of the sacrament, while sacred to many, will not be immune to the health concerns related.

So the church has to adopt in an appropriate way to stay relevant enough to avoid legal issues and bad PR, while still trying to function mostly from "thus saith the Lord through his prophet" and "as inspired from our priesthood brethren" elements that the church depends on to stay authoritative.

In short, I love the survey and am grateful for it. I love the options the church has been "forced" to give it's members in regarding these traditions and cultural expectations. I'm just smiling and internally shaking my head at how I was raised vs today's world.

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DarkJedi
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Jun 2020, 04:38

grobert93 wrote:
08 Jun 2020, 07:23
Growing up as a youth, it was drilled in my head that anyone who was a disciple of Jesus Christ and demonstrated their best imperfect faith in Him would be protected. We were taught that if we gave up career, education and family commitments to attend church every Sunday "no matter what", that God would bless us in ways beyond imaginable. We were also occasionally taught that God protected his places of worship, that he protected the sacred sacrament and essentially that besides obvious health limitations, anyone could take the sacrament and attend church and would be protected, even if "doctors and health professionals" suggested otherwise.

Even on my mission I remember teaching many that god will protect his buildings, that the sacrament is sacred when in God's hands.

It's been a while and I've taken the path of leaving the church for numerous reasons... and now looking back at those claims I was taught, coupled with surveys such as what I'm quoting, really makes me stop and scratch my head.

Why shouldn't we feel comfortable going to church? Isn't church where God blesses us "no matter what"?
Safe taking the sacrament? I would have argued as a TBM a long time ago that of course, God will bless us to not get sick if we are exactly obedient.

It's so crazy how the tables have turned.
To some extent this is one of the paradoxes of Mormonism (Givens wrote a book on the subject). Yes, people, including leaders of the church have and do teach those things. At the same time we're taught to follow the living prophets. At this moment the living prophets seem to be sending a different message. That may be due to PR or whatever as you assert in your subsequent post, and it could be out of legitimate fear of litigation. It could also be the prophet has received revelation in the subject. And it could be that church leadership is paying attention to medical science (in addition to the president there is one other doctor in the Q15). Or it could be something else or any combination of things. Either way, I'm behind the caution the church is taking because I'm being very cautious myself.
Roy wrote:I definitely agree that I was taught that God would intervene in my life to "bless" me if I did what was right. It was usually taught in a very nebulous fashion that made it very hard to determine clear cause and effect relationships. Part of my challenge in staying LDS has been to reorder my motivations now that I no longer expect tangible blessings from God in exchange for my devotion AND ALSO to continue to attend church where such expectations are taught.
I have had exactly the same experience and am in the same station.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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DarkJedi
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 09 Jun 2020, 04:47

Katzpur wrote:
08 Jun 2020, 12:18
Here's the directive we just got from our ward. I've got to say that they've sure thought things through carefully and are being super diligent.

1. Sacrament meetings will recommence at the Chapel next Sunday, June 14th, at 10:00 a.m. The meetings will be 45 minutes long and consist of the Sacrament and a single speaker.
2. We will meet every two weeks (the 3rd Ward will meet on our "off" weeks).
3. We can only meet with a maximum of 99 people. If we need more than one meeting, we will determine when that meeting will be held and will notify everyone.
4. Everyone above the age of 2 who attends will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Please bring your own mask. We will have extra masks available for those who forget or do not have one.
5. Seating will be every third row. Families may sit together, but must distance themselves from other groups by at least 6 feet. The benches will be marked appropriately.
6. Ushers will greet and seat those who attend, loading the Chapel from the front to the back. At the conclusion of the meeting the ushers will dismiss the congregation row by row. Individuals should leave the building without stopping to chat with others inside. If you wish to socialize, please do so at an appropriate social distance once you are outside the building.
7. There will be no written programs, and no hymnals. Please either bring your own hymnal, or use your electronic device. You may sing quietly, or hum, with your mask on.
8. The Sacrament trays, table, and covering will be sanitized before and after each use. Those who administer and pass the Sacrament will wear masks, will sanitize their hands in view of the congregation, and will wear gloves. They will use the empty rows to pass the Sacrament to the congregation so that no one needs to touch the Sacrament trays. The bread will be broken and placed in a tray so that the pieces do not touch each other. The water cups will be placed in alternate rows and spaces on the trays so that they do not touch each other. A separate tray will be used for cup disposal. Parents should take the Sacrament bread and water from the trays for their young children.
9. Anyone who is in an "at risk" category (due to age, health, or other consideration) should not attend at this time.Anyone who feels uncomfortable with these procedures should not attend. Anyone who feels that, for whatever reason, now is not the time for them to come, should not attend. No one should feel pressured to attend. If anyone is uncomfortable about attending for any reason, they do not need to attend, and they should not feel guilty about it. They should determine, with the guidance of the Spirit, what is right for themselves and their families. I still authorize the administration of the Sacrament in our homes.
10. Each of you will be receiving a phone call from a member of the Ward leadership either today (Sunday) or tomorrow, to ask whether or not you are planning on attending at the Chapel next Sunday. If you do not receive a call by the end of Monday, please contact a member of the Bishopric and let us know.
I think we're at least two to three weeks from holding meetings yet (maybe longer). I hope my local leadership has an outline very similar to this, especially number 9. I was sort of going through the ward list on Tools the other day looking for people who are older and vulnerable but will probably come anyway. There will several on which I would be will come despite and counsel or leeway otherwise. That in itself makes me uncomfortable enough to not want to come. Yes, my area is way better of than it was month ago - but we still have new cases and new deaths.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Minyan Man
Posts: 1999
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Minyan Man » 28 Jun 2020, 08:57

I'm curious, does anyone on this forum know of any infections in your ward or stake?
We get messages from our Bishopric & Stake every week.
We never hear anything about how it's personally affecting the membership & their families.
That's should be good news to celebrate.

Another upside to the WoW is: we don't congregate in the local bars & night clubs.

Minyan Man
Posts: 1999
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by Minyan Man » 05 Jul 2020, 07:20

This morning I woke up thinking about F&T meeting. It has been about 4 months since the last one. I'm wondering if it
will change in the future? Or even be eliminated. With the Covid 19 virus, one thing that doesn't seem to fit is
having multiple people walk to the front of the chapel, stand at a podium, speak into the same microphone & have the
potential to spread germs or wear a mask & speak.

Maybe the F&T meeting will be eliminated all together. Is that a possibility?
If the church were ever looking to eliminate this meeting, then this could be the opportunity or reason to do it.

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Jul 2020, 04:56

Minyan Man wrote:
05 Jul 2020, 07:20
This morning I woke up thinking about F&T meeting. It has been about 4 months since the last one. I'm wondering if it
will change in the future? Or even be eliminated. With the Covid 19 virus, one thing that doesn't seem to fit is
having multiple people walk to the front of the chapel, stand at a podium, speak into the same microphone & have the
potential to spread germs or wear a mask & speak.

Maybe the F&T meeting will be eliminated all together. Is that a possibility?
If the church were ever looking to eliminate this meeting, then this could be the opportunity or reason to do it.
Back in my more orthodox days I used to love F&TM. It was my favorite Sunday. That changed with my faith crisis and now I loathe them. While I'd love it if they were eliminated, I don't see that happening - but we can still hope! As previously stated I think this church shut down has shown many of us what we can live without. The question is will the leadership take note and act or will we go back to the status quo post pandemic? I think other aspects of our lives might change, but I think the church generally likes the status quo and that's why some members don't like some of the changes over the past couple years. My guess is going back to the status quo, but it's only a guess. FWIW, the "full ward" meeting my ward did via Zoom was F&TM. We have a monthly SS, RS, and EQ meeting as well. I take part in none of them, my wife does the RS one.

Looking at it from another angle, many years ago when I was in the bishopric I liked F&TM because that was one less Sunday to get speakers.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by nibbler » 06 Jul 2020, 08:22

We did EQ, SS, and youth online meetings once per month until the area authority shut it down completely. The stated reason was to give time back to families so they can be more together for home church. The reason boggles my brain. If that is indeed the reason, I guess we're down to one hour church even when we return to normal because a 2nd hour in the church building would really take time away from the time families have to be together on Sundays.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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DarkJedi
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Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Jul 2020, 09:02

nibbler wrote:
06 Jul 2020, 08:22
We did EQ, SS, and youth online meetings once per month until the area authority shut it down completely. The stated reason was to give time back to families so they can be more together for home church. The reason boggles my brain. If that is indeed the reason, I guess we're down to one hour church even when we return to normal because a 2nd hour in the church building would really take time away from the time families have to be together on Sundays.
Agreed. Reasons I like home church:
1) It doesn't take me 2 hours to do it
2) When I do home church I get to study what I want to study (or not study at all - the brief Music and the Spoken Word is sufficient for me)
3) No commute time. My ward building is 10 miles away.
4) No waiting for my wife to finish socializing before I can leave (there's no such thing as 2 hour church for her)
5) No shirt and tie
6) More "me" time to just plain rest* (it is supposed to be a day of rest after all)

So if the purpose of no video meetings is to have more family time (something I wholeheartedly support) then in order to have the same amount of family time in the new normal we'd have to eliminate all meetings.

In all honesty I do hope that church leadership has taken note that home church works for a lot of us. I don't think one hour church (SM only ) is out of the question but I do think they may be worried about push back from the rank and file.

*rest does not necessarily imply sitting in my easy chair all day.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013, 07:34
Location: Ten miles west of the exact centre of the universe

Re: How will the Church change in light of the Covid Virus?

Post by nibbler » 06 Jul 2020, 12:01

Another thought is that it's a way to prime the pump to get people to return.

Want SS back? Want EQ back? Want RS back? Well you gotta come back to church to get them. Sort of an absence makes the heart grow fonder thing. If people are getting their SS fill via online meetings then they'll be less likely to return. Just a (bad) theory, since I don't understand the logic behind the decision.

DJ, if that's the plan I don't think they're prepared for people like us.

"You've been without SS for 6 months. Want SS back?"
"Nah, I'm good."

Of course the second phase to get people to come back will be for bishops to revoke people's ability to bless the sacrament in their homes. We're probably a long way out from that eventuality.
Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.
— Hippocrates

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