MOULTRIE, Ga. — Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is pleased with streaming its Sunday service, but at least one member longs for the good old days, before the coronavirus.
“I don’t like virtual church,” she said. “I’d rather be in the church.”
This member, who did not want to be named, said she had been in the groove of getting dressed up and going to church for years. Within more than a couple of months, that groove was disturbed.
The service was the highlight of her week and now she says she doesn’t know Sunday from any other day of the week. Even Bible study has lost its original worth.
“It’s just not the same. You don’t have the interaction from the congregation or the people in Bible study,” she said. “I don’t really like it.”
Bible study isn’t done in the same fashion as Sunday morning service, however. Sunday’s service is streamed to the masses, but members can use an app to call in and connect with other people attending Bible study.
She likes to ask questions to get a better understanding of lessons learned during Bible study, but she’s found that to be difficult in a virtual setting.
“I don’t know how the other people feel, but it’s not fun for me,” she said.
She asked when she’d be able to join her fellow members in the sanctuary again, but as for right now, that’s tentative. Georgia’s stay-at-home order was lifted May 1, but most churches are waiting until June to see the status of COVID-19.
Mother Easter Baptist Church has streamed its services since Gov. Brian Kemp advised churches against in-person services in March. Overall feedback was positive.
Still, its members want to be together once again in its sanctuary. Deacon Robert Moore said he’s always getting messages from members missing their old normal.
“But there are no plans as of now about going back,” Moore said. “We’re taking it day by day.”
It’s a different situation for him too, though. He misses the sounds of gospel sung by the choir, but through holding onto his faith, he found clarity in a reasoning behind the pandemic.
“This is a time of the season that we as Christians need to be still and let God be God,” he said. “Even when we start going back to church, we’re going to still be experiencing some abnormalcy.”
Our new norm won’t be the same as the old one, he said. Life will be completely different for a while, he said, but even so, faith in God shouldn’t waver.
Right now, it’s about being obedient to God and listening to authorities because that is what will keep people safe, Moore said.
“He’s in charge,” he said, stating God already has the cure in mind. “The same way he dropped the water on the Earth, he can dry this virus up.”