Friday's News & Ideas - 5/8/2020

  • Reopening churches & insurance
  • Should parishioners sing?
  • History of American religiosity
  • Coronavirus protests in US vs Canada
  • Zoom funerals now norm
  • “Shelter in Place” documentary

As pandemic persists, churches and insurance companies grapple with risk
Religion News Service: As his congregants mull over whether to worship together again physically, the Rev. Stephen Fearing says he knows exactly who they will speak with first: his insurer.

German churches stopped singing to prevent virus’s spread. Should Americans clam up, too?*
Washington Post: A pastor whose church is reopening this weekend sought advice from several local health officials and searched for answers nationally before ultimately deciding against having people sing.

Many causes to recent decline in American religiosity; but U.S. more religious now than at founding
Crux: While American religiosity may be in rapid decline, a new study reveals that the United States remains more religious than many other countries and is presently more religious than at many other times in its own history.

Why religious freedom stokes coronavirus protests in the U.S., but not Canada
The Conversation: To date, there is no equivalent in Canada of these high-profile COVID-19 legal battles in which churches reject both public health directives and state legislation.

Zoom funerals are now the norm in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
HuffPost: Because of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions on public gatherings, families are using virtual livestreams to mourn their dead.

The Spark

Watch neighbors connect in “Shelter in Place”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Matthew Beck was a street photographer. His new documentary, “Shelter in Place,”* is made up of the conversations he had with his neighbors, in which they spoke to him on the phone from their windows, while he filmed them from his.

*access is limited for nonsubscribers

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