Portsmouth, Virginia (WAVY) – For the first time in 80 years, according to a Gallup poll, most Americans do not belong to houses of worship. The numbers have been declining over the years, and now, due to the pandemic, thousands of prayer houses could close forever.
Research firm Barna Group, It is estimated that personal church attendance is 30-50% lower than the figures recorded before the pandemic.
“Usually we live in the ocean, and the pandemic has done much less,” said Rev. Jim Carran, pastor. Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Norfolk.
Gone are the crowds that filled the benches for Sunday services; dozens of mourners who attended the funeral disappeared; for some the warmth of personal communication, which is very necessary during global upheavals, has disappeared.
“After only a year as a boom, it was a shock, and suddenly our world turned upside down,” he said. Rabbi Israel Zoberman, who is the founder of Leo Pumpkin.
This is a non-discriminatory pandemic. Leaders of all faiths have made major adjustments amid closures, crowd restrictions and mask mandates.
“It changed our ministry of learning, changed our friendship, changed everything we do.”
“We reopened in March 2021, and we saw that there was no complete return of the Congregation to personal worship,” he said. The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Hans, pastor of the Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk. “We have a large number of people worshiping virtually, and I’ve shared with pastors that you can expect some of your people not to return to personal worship.”
As the pandemic enters its third year, there are warnings that 1 of the five places of worship could close forever.
“Statistics say 15,000 churches in North America will be closed,” said Bishop Kim W. Brown, who is the prelate’s chairman. Mount Global Fellowship of Churches.
Here in Hampton Roads, some iconic places are challenging the chance. The mountain with 8 bricks and mortar seats now has a ninth place called Mount Virtual, which is the product of a pandemic.
“On the eve of the New Year, we made a two-hour production and preached four points of my sermon. Each of the points was in a different geographical location, says Bishop Brown. “Point one was in Atlanta, Georgia, point two was on the Langeley Highway, point three was in the bank, and point four was in my backyard. The audience was 25,000 on six continents. “
Bishop Brown says the pandemic is minimizing church walls while expanding church reach.
“Someone who is a church counselor for us said COVID has squeezed ten years of change in the church. We have just released a new platform that allows you to sit next to the people you want to sit next to, in a virtual church, and it allows you to interact with those people, the bishop boasted.
У Revival of unity in Chesapeake during the first year of the pandemic the church received the largest amount of contributions. That was enough to build a million-dollar expansion that includes space where Teacher services are offered to children left behind during the pandemic.
“We went through the hardest times, when together again was one of the happiest days I have ever experienced in my life.”
The years, 164 of them, included 6 pandemics at the present site of the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Father Jim Curran is looking forward to the day when the entire flock will return.
“This church has been closed for almost five years [for renovation] and when we got back, it was during the pandemic. So I haven’t seen this church full yet, ”said Pastor, Rev. Jim Curran.
Apparently the pandemic could reach endemic status later this year, Father Curran has such an assessment of how the global health crisis has affected humanity.
“We usually live in the ocean, and the pandemic has made everything much smaller. The slightest ripple in this pond may seem like a tsunami, and I think that’s what we see, “said Father Koran. “Everything, even the mask obliges with the critical theory of race … you cling to one thing and it becomes everything because now everything is so small; it’s so isolated. “
Rev. Curran says that if we can expand our living space – where we exist – then everything expands.
“I think it will take a while, but I think we will, because that’s what we do; human beings are extremely adaptable, Rev. Curran said.