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Pandemic Procedures

May 27, 2020

As the Corona virus swept across the United States, causing lockdowns, churches had to decide the best way to continue Sunday services. Sunday services were unhealthy, and potentially against lockdown rules for crowds. Thankfully, most churches in America were already equipped with some form of technology and transitioned their services into an online format. Most congregations have continued meeting online throughout this pandemic, and though it feels odd to “go to church” on your couch, we have continued to enjoy access to worship and preaching.
But what happens when you’re in remote Malawi and your church has no technology? How do you continue church during a pandemic in Malawi?
These are the questions our church leaders have been asking over the last month. Malawi is one of the last countries on the planet to join the pandemic, meaning the churches had time to prepare themselves and their congregants.
Weeks before the first confirmed virus cases were reported in Malawi, many churches began educating congregants on symptoms and prevention methods. Washing stations were set up outside most churches,and congregations were split into smaller groups in anticipation of lockdown restraints.
Since the virus has now been confirmed in Malawi, congregations like Thondwe Church of Christ (pictured here) began multiple services, with church leaders running two, three, and sometimes even four services back-to-back, taking all day Sunday. Around 50 people at a time come to take part in a shorter service, sitting apart, washing their hands when they leave, and making room for the next 50.
In this way, the churches are continuing to meet while leading their communities by example – 50 people at a time with lots of fellowship but no hand shaking.
Eric