Over the past few weeks, local sites of worship have had to recalibrate how they serve their congregations during a time when coming together can do more harm than good.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced a 30-day stay-at-home order last weekend. The restrictions require people to remain in their homes whenever possible as part of an ongoing effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. There are a number of exceptions to the stay-at-home order, city and county officials said, but religious centers aren’t one of them.
So, many clergy have urged their members to practice their faith at home for the time being, and some have turned to hosting Zoom meetings or Facebook Live streams.
On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with religious leaders about how they have been approaching at-home services for their congregations.
“There are some exciting elements of this,” said the Rev. Matt Miofsky of the Gathering. “It’s almost as if, when you take away every other form of connection, people begin to realize how important this is to life and seek it out in a more intentional way.”
Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation agreed. She said that she has actually witnessed an increase in participation and comradery.
“I’ve never had this many people come to services,” she said.
Father Craig Holway, of St. Joan of Arc Parish, and Imam Hamid Malik, of Baitul Hafeez Mosque, also lent their perspectives to the discussion.
Hear the entire conversation:
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
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