The United Methodist Church has once again postponed its quadrennial meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying further a widely anticipated vote by delegates from across the globe on a proposal to split the denomination over the inclusion of LGBTQ members.
Now that former President Jimmy Carter and his wife are vaccinated against COVID-19, they have returned to one of their favorite things: church. Maranatha Baptist Church in tiny Plains, Georgia, announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that the Carters were again attending worship in person.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, local clergy gathered on the lawn of the First Christian Church of Decatur to remember Georgia victims of COVID-19. An artistic display of 15,000 small white flags represented the 15,000 Georgians who have died from the disease in the past year.
Ministering to the ill or dying is a major role of spiritual leaders in all religions. Susan Dunlap, a divinity professor at Duke University, said covid-19 creates an even greater feeling of obligation for clergy because many patients are isolated from family members.
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Most churches have found a way to continue meeting despite the ongoing pandemic, but fewer met in person in January as COVID-19 cases spiked across the country. A new study from Nashville-based Lifeway Research found 76% of U.S. Protestant pastors say their churches met in
As states continue with the initial rollout of vaccines for COVID-19, the availability for pastors depends on their location as well as the definition of “essential.” Clergy are already eligible in some states, but not in others.