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Zoom to worship

Many religious organizations busied themselves in 2020 reinventing worship. Congregational singing and shaking hands were suddenly deemed dangerous. A choir practice at one church became a COVID-19 “superspreader,” leaving 52 sick and two dead. Some groups discontinued meetings in their sanctuary altogether, opting for drive-in services where the assembled remained in their vehicles. Religious services streamed into homes via television, computer and phone screens.

Zoom Meeting

“The Present Word” Sunday School class / is now a virtual pajama party. The fun starts / at the “not so early” time of 9 a.m. / when we’ve already had our rest.

We are not unprepared, so / instead of carrying a backpack / full of overnight necessities, / our mouse Zooms us into church.

It’s easy: click. / No trip to town ahead of time / to make sure of having enough gas / for tomorrow’s transport.

It’s casual: just bring yourself; / no hair-style necessary, no fancy dress / or slick shoes. / No calorie laden snacks, / or lumpy sleeping bags.

It’s communal: not only people, / but the backdrops they select, / context for who they are. The odd / cat or dog wanders through.

The spirit is there before we are, / in the leader’s warm welcome, / the visual contact with friends, / hearing their voices, at last.

Then the chase, for the message, / the enlarged horizon, our delight / in the discussion that charitable souls / may have, where two or more are gathered.

Eventually we find we must close, / though there will be no spiritual parting.

The poet for the above is Southern Indiana’s own Jeannine Baumgartle. I especially liked two of her images. Today, instead of zooming to church in an SUV, we zoom to a virtual “pajama party” on a “mouse.”

Thanks, Jeannine.

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