Ep. 14: Finding the right response to reopening

May 21, 2020

Churches are facing a barrage of challenges as they navigate whether, when and how to resume in-person worship and other gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. This week, Amanda and Holly explore what’s at stake for churches and how religious liberty fits into these nuanced conversations (28:30). They look at what makes religion unique in the reopening landscape and respond to articles about life in our current context. Plus, find out how you can help shape a future episode of Respecting Religion – we want to hear from you!

Segment 1: What are churches doing as the country starts to re-open? (starting at 00:40)

Holly mentioned this story by Michelle Boorstein in The Washington Post about the Hopeful Baptist Church meeting again: On the first Sunday congregations could reopen, a church called Hopeful Baptist lived up to its name the first Sunday it could meet.

Holly also mentioned this story by Elizabeth Dias in The New York Times about the re-opening conversations happening in congregations across the country: After Weeks on Zoom, Churches Consider Plans to Reopen.


Segment 2: How does religious liberty fit into these conversations? (Starting at 20:26)

Amanda and Holly devoted episode 10 to the various legal challenges to COVID-19 directives. You can listen to it at this link.

Amanda mentioned this article by Brian Kaylor in Word&Way that provides an overview of the ups and downs facing congregations: More Churches Reopening as Some Close Again Amid New Outbreaks.

To read about the situation at Palermo Bible Family Church, which had a service that exposed nearly 200 people to the coronavirus, here is an article from The Los Angeles Times.

Holly and Amanda recommended this editorial by Peter Marty for The Christian Century: Churches obsessed with their right to reopen are missing the point.


Segment 3: We want to hear from you! (starting at 37:04)

To catch up on previous episodes of Respecting Religion while we take next week off, you can see a full list at BJConline.org/RespectingReligion.

Let us know what questions you want us to answer, topics you want us to cover, and articles you want us to discuss. Contact the show by sending an email to [email protected].

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