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More Than Lip Service: Is the Church Essential Work?

By Maria French

What makes the church more than a self-help option?  In the name of ‘essential work,’ what are the categories of community the church provides for its congregants that are integrally Christian?

I don’t ask these questions because I know the answers. 

I ask them because I think they must be asked and deeply considered. 

If you are keeping up on the news across the U.S. when it comes to church openings (or non-openings) you will find that many pastors have fought against the continued government mandates not to assemble for the purposes of worship.  There has been outrage, citing infringement on their first amendment rights, calling for churches to be seen as essential work as well as an invoking of mental health statistics among church goers who no longer have the comfort and community of their in-person Sunday gatherings.

There has been a distinct ‘us vs. them’ narrative when it comes to churches re-opening and...

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Coronavirus and Racism: A Tale of Two Pandemics

By Maria French

            As the coronavirus pandemic swept the world earlier this year most of us never imagined that we would be facing another pandemic of even more epic and grave proportions, racism.  In a few short months all of our lives have fundamentally changed because of the Covid pandemic.  But it only took 8 minutes and 46 seconds for the world to change because of the long and deep seeded pandemic of racism.  And by change, I mean a pot boiled over in which finally enough was enough.

            Coronavirus and Racism – insidious sickness distorting all of life.  Wreaking immeasurable havoc in all aspects of life and often seemingly too powerful to stop.  Coronavirus caused churches to quickly move online.  Racism caused churches to quickly move to the streets.

            Churches scrambled to...

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