The Gospel in a Time of Social Distancing

Turning outward to one another as the coronavirus locks us down.

Many years ago, there was a debate at my rural church about whether the pastor needed a cellular telephone for his ministry. They were expensive, so, of course, the argument was partly about whether paying for one was a responsible use of parish funds. I can’t remember all the details, but the “car phone” was finally purchased, and for many years longer than was technologically reasonable, our pastor had it plugged into his vehicle so that he could be reached whenever he was on the road. The slippery slope, much invoked by opponents of this purchase, turned out to be basically flat: it was another decade before the church got a Web site. But after that came an e-mail list for prayer needs, which lets us know when someone is in the hospital or someone else has lost a family member, and, more recently, the monthly newsletter started circulating online to save on postage costs.

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