Learnings from the pandemic: Implications of Adapting and Inventing Ecclesial Practices for COVID
Practical Theology Group
Co-sponsor: Association for Practical Theology
Since the beginning of 2020, a global pandemic has occurred due to COVID-19. Important health measures have curtailed life as normal in many ways. Church practices have also been directly affected by these measures, not only church services but also ministry in its many forms. One result was the digitalizing of ecclesial life in a variety of formats through which contact networks emerged, online worship services were streamed, and a wide range of practices (educational, relational, caregiving, devotional and administrative) were developed. Other results were new forms of in-person practices like creative forms of worship in parking lots, innovative food pantries, and chaplains finding new ways of communicating and being present to patients and families at the hospital. The new forms of communication were developed, planned and designed by different actors, and their outreach was aimed at different contexts. In this session, we welcome practical theological papers that reflect empirically and/or hermeneutically on these pandemic learnings. What was the design of these practices and the conditions under which they were developed and structured? To what extent will they continue to exist even though the situation has changed again? And in which ways do these – revised – practices expand understandings of church and ministry?