Heidi A. Campbell (org.)



In March/April 2020 most churches around the world have been forced to close their doors due to the need for social distancing and local lock-downs in order to fight off the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The result was traditional churches had to make an unplanned and swift transition towards technologically-driven forms of gathering. Many church leaders felt out of their comfort zone, while experimenting with doing church online. At the same time, scholars and theologians began studying this new trends in how churches perform worship online. “The Distanced Church” brings together religious leaders and scholar in conversation in this eBook where each group and offer reflection on lessons learned, answer questions that have been raised, and present insights gleaned from researching religion online. Contributors to this eBook come from ten different countries—within North America, Europe, and the Antipodes—and represent 12 different Christian denominations including Mainline, Catholic, and Nondenominational churches.


Introduction 3

Heidi A. Campbell


1) Turning Flavor of the Month into Staple Diet 7

Albert Bogle, Church of Scotland, UK

2) Connection Trumps Technology 10

Arni Svanur Danielsson, Lutheran World FederationGeneva, Switzerland

3) God Equips the Called 12

Aneya Elbert, St Thomas Episcopal Church, TX, USA

4) The Unspectacular Pastor: Live and In Person 15

Steve Evoy, Pastor of Wolverine Free Methodist Church, MI, USA

5) The Challenges of Online in Indian Country & Rural America 17

John Floberg, Episcopal Priest, ND, USA

6) Facilitating Deep Friendship Digitally When Analog Acquaintances are Gone 19

Zach W Lambert, Restore Austin Church, TX, USA

7) Live-Streams in the Digital Desert: Reflections on Parish Transitions into the Digital Age 22

Joanne Mercer, Anglican Parish of Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada

8) Throughout the World the Holy Church Acclaims You 24

Rodger Patience, Church of the Holy Apostles, WI, USA

9) Getting Back to Normal 27

Michael Piazza, Broadway United Church of Christ-NY, USA

10) The Charism of Zoom Church 29

Nandra Perry, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, TX, USA

11) Digital is the New Normal – Churches in Germany During the Corona Pandemic 31

Ralf Peter Reimann, Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany

12) The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online in a Time of Pandemic 34

Donna Schaper, United Church of Christ, USA

13) Four Lessons I’ve Learned in the Wake of the Pandemic 37

David Silverkors, Church of Sweden, Sweden

14) Is Your Church Ready for Social Distancing? 40

Troy Shepherd, Shepherding My Church, TX, USA

15) Grief, Awareness and Blessing – The Experience of Ministry During a Pandemic 43

Bryony Taylor, Barlborough and Clowne-Derby Diocese, UK

16) Being Benedictine Online 46

Catherine Wybourne, Holy Trinity Monastery, UK

PAR TE 2: Wisdom from Scholars of Digital Religion and Theology: Research Reflections on Doing Religion Online

17) What Religious Groups Need to Consider When Trying to Do Church Online 49

Heidi A Campbell, Texas A&M University, USA

18) The Biggest Challenge for Churches at this Time 53

John Dyer, Dallas Theological Seminary, USA

19) The Distanced Church: Pragmatism, Creativity and Rhythms of Life 55

Stephen Garner, Laidlaw College-Auckland, NZ

20) New Media and a New Reformation? 58

Angela Williams Gorrell, Baylor University, TX, USA

21) What can history of digital religion teach the newly-online churches of today? 61

Tim Hutchings, University of Nottingham, UK

22) An Inclusive Church Community in a Digital Age 64

Bex Lewis, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

23) Hope-Storytelling in the Age of Corona: How Pastors Foster the Community of Faith 67

Ilona Nord, & Swantje Luthe, University of Wuerzburg, Germany

24) Enabling, Extending and Disrupting Religion in the Early COVID19 Crisis 71

Pete Philips, University of Durham, UK

25) The (Re)Discovery of the Digital Environment for Living and Communicating the Faith 75

Moisés Sbardelotto, Unisinos University, Brazil

26) 404 Error: The Digital Literacy Page Cannot Be Found 78

Katherine G Schmidt, Molloy College-NY, USA

27) Community in the Digital Body of Christ 81

Matthew John Paul Tan, University of Notre DameAustralia, Australia

28) Virtual Now, But for How Long? 83

Scott Thumma, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, CT, USA

29) Reassessing Embodiment and its Role in Developing Digital Literacies for Ministry 29

Stacy Williams-Duncan, University of Virginia, USA & Kyle Matthew Oliver, Columbia University, USA

30) Is It Real? Mystagogizing the Live-Streamed Service 91

Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, Notre Dame Seminary-New Orleans, USA

Baixe gratuitamente o livro The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online no <<<site da Texas A&M University>>>.

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