Practical Theology Unit and the Association for Practical Theology

Learnings from the Pandemic: Implications of Adapting and Inventing Ecclesial Practices for COVID-19
Sabrina Mueller, Zurich University, Presiding
Katherine Turpin, Iliff School of Theology, Presiding

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 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. This session engages 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?

  • Alexander Chow, University of Edinburgh
    Jonas Kurlberg, Durham University

    Embodying Church Online during COVID-19: Lessons from Asian and European Churches

  • John P. Falcone, Union Theological Seminary
    Molly Boot, University of Oxford

    Lectio Visceralis Online: Interactive, Embodied, Zoom-Based Christian Ritual

  • Laura Schmidt Roberts, Fresno Pacific University

    Pandemic Liturgy: Implications for Mennonite Communal Identity and Ecclesiology

  • Tim Snyder, Wesley Theological Seminary

    Resilience as an Ecclesial Practice: Towards a Model for Assessing Congregational Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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