‘Faith will not be canceled’: Places of worship work to digitize practices, maintain community amid COVID-19
Classic music and hymns greeted churchgoers signing on to the virtual Palm Sunday services at the First United Methodist Church of Iowa City. As more people logged on to the Facebook livestreamed worship, people began to comment messages normally said face-to-face — “Good morning, everyone” and “Happy Palm Sunday.”
The time-honored sermons reverberating from Pastor Barrie Tritle established a comforting tone of normalcy throughout the digital audience. Messages of faith familiar to those watching remained unwavering despite being contextualized in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic — an illness that has crippled Americans with fear and uncertainty.