This year has been taxing, to say the least. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives, including the ways we practice our faith. However, this doesn’t have to take away from the variety of ways that community faith can positively impact the lives of the congregation. It starts from the top-down, strong leadership through this time of trouble will guide everyone in pain and distress to greener pastures on the other side.
Have you considered streaming mass?
Videography is everywhere, and it might have a place in your chapel as well. This is a non-traditional way to broadcast the message to your, but even Pope Francis live streams his mass and sermons. If it’s good enough for the Pope then it might fit perfectly with your interconnected local community as well! Live streaming mass, replete in your typical cassock, and creating digital content for your congregation is a great way to circumvent the need for us to remain apart while giving your community that same sense of unity that can only come from the sacredness of a Sunday gathering.
Try revamping your cassock for a stylish and clean new look.
The cassock is a timeless classic, but cassocks can be hot and stuffy, and they aren’t exactly trendy. Adding a few alternative priest shirts or toned down cassock alternatives to your rotation along with the addition of a weekly or daily online broadcast could be the spark you need to really excite your congregation as cases and restrictions peak and then begin to ease off. You might even consider a whole new wardrobe of stylish cassocks to replace an aging lineup for your church leadership.
Consider organizing a socially distanced outdoor gathering.
If you feel your congregation needs a real shot in the arm then an open-air—and socially distanced—gathering might be in order. Nothing makes a church community feel at one with their faith like a mass or other group prayer session. Organizing a picnic or even an outdoor mass can make your community feel special in a time when we all are feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Letting them know that you are still there and that the community remains strong during this troubling time may be just the thing that some members need to keep them positive through this pandemic.
Energize your faithful with a giving campaign.
Nothing energizes a churchgoing community like a campaign to help out in the community. The pandemic has his all of us in unique and personal ways, so organizing a clothing drive or fundraiser to assist those impacted the most will really get your congregation feeling the love for their neighbors. Office buildings and multifamily apartment buildings all over the US are coming together to provide assistance to one another like never before, why not mobilize your family as well? There is so much good we can do for tenants in underprivileged areas, and everyday Americans struggling to get by during these hard times. Outreach may even grow your congregation as those who don’t practice regularly start to see all the good the church can do and what God’s message is all about.
Give your community some tangible goodies.
Showing your solidarity with families within your organization is also important. Custom printed shirts and other good stuff is always a handy way to make your community feel the unity of the church community. You probably already have a warehouse lease, but if not, considering a modest addition of square footage for nearby storage is a great way to maintain a stock of church necessities and merchandise that’s easily accessible and safely stored.
Keeping your faithful community engaged and in communication is essential to maintaining the unity that would be the norm during any other time. Thanks to the newest technologies and social distancing tactics, this is still possible even during these times of physical distance.