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Pastors of Metro Atlanta churches review effects of COVID-19 pandemic a year later – Atlanta, Georgia

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Over a year, businesses and schools have similarly moved from face-to-face to virtual and remote work and education. The church has worked in the same way.

For those who had the ability to do so, the church transitioned from face-to-face worship to virtual church services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted many obligations and bans, but the pandemic still exists.

People are still practicing hiding social distances. The three Rev. Metro Atlanta share how their church is still virtual and how their ministries have managed it throughout the pandemic.

Rev. Jamal Bryant, Principal Pastor of the Baptist Church of the New Missionaries in Lithonia, Georgia, said his church continues to provide virtual services and that his church’s work has expanded since the pandemic began last year. Said.

“Before the pandemic, we expanded our online presence by expanding our ministry with a focus on online pastoral care and support. In many ways, the pandemic is what we call the church. We expanded our thinking about how to do it, and made it possible, if not forced, to explore the ministry outside the four walls of the church, “Bryant said.

“Members still have various” touch “points from drive-through prayer and communion pickups. We ask elders and ministers to stay connected with our members and stay creative in our approach to gathering as safely as possible. “

Olbrown, senior pastor of Impact Church in East Point, Georgia, said: Reached more people and connected with virtually more people. “

Dr. Kevin R. Muriel, Principal Pastor of the Cascade United Methodist Church in Southwest Atlanta, said his church is also continuing virtual services, and since the second Sunday of March 2020, the church has been providing virtual services. Said.

“When the pandemic started last year, we already had an online presence. Moving to virtual and streaming services was an absolute adjustment. Suddenly people saw the service from their computer. “There is,” Muriel said.

“We are currently in Phase 3 of the Five-Phase Initiation Protocol. We are proud of our members not to lose hope. Our streaming audience has grown exponentially. Our church from other states and countries. There are virtually broadcast benefits we have never seen, including members who joined the church. The church adapted very well during COVID. “

In many communities across the country, the church is the center where people can not only gain spiritual fulfillment, but also support. These three ministries have come to support and support the Atlanta community throughout the pandemic.

“We have helped the community with missions and outreach during COVID, from feeding individuals to providing covid tests and acting as vaccination sites,” said Brown. “We pivoted and offered ourselves last year. We need to influence.”

“Our food pantry has been feeding more than 600,000 people since it opened just before the pandemic. The reality of food insecurity still exists and we meet the needs of the community. We continue to expand our partnerships to help, “says Bryant.

“We are actively working with our members and communities to provide resources from everything from small business development to financial literacy to health and wellness, including outdoor walking and programming from the Samsung Fitness Facility. We have launched a variety of activities (both literate and spiritual). In addition, we have made numerous donations to organizations and institutions that support social justice initiatives. “

Murriel also said his outreach from the church continued during Covid, including a “Smart Lunch Smart Kids” lunch gift for children in Atlanta.

During the holiday season last December, Muriel Church presented a Christmas gift card to thank all the workers at Cascade’s Arbor Terrace Senior Living Facility and Kroger’s employees, also on Cascade Road. It was.

“I didn’t mean to stop outreach just for the pandemic. The 2020 pandemic served more than 100,000 families. We are now implementing another initiative,” Feed the 5000. ” We serve meals to our families and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, “says Murriel.

“The pandemic opened the church for more ministry opportunities, even though the physical doors of the church were closed. I thank the members, volunteers, and those who support the ministry. Thank God for what God can do through us during the pandemic. “

Brian said the pandemic did not affect his preaching, but he focused on the influence of his message as his church influenced more people through the pandemic.

“COVID-19 forced me to put my ministry outside the four walls of our church, so it doesn’t necessarily affect the way I preach, but from the pulpit. We will focus on the different messages that may come, “Bryant said.

“But it has had a direct impact on our approach to ministry and community engagement. We have expanded our reach and encounters with people, not just our members. I think it’s a stronger and more connected ministry because we’re serious about doing it. “

Murriel said he worked hard, but worked harder during the pandemic.

“We continue to be a dynamic online service. I grew up with sermons during COVID. There is a strength developed by COVID. I took advantage of people’s pain to give hope. My I have a deeper sympathy for those who hear the message, “Murriel said.

For more information, please visit: www.cascadeumc.org, www.newbirth.org, Or www.impactdcd.org..

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