Across Kentucky, communities of faith are finding new ways to worship together – as well as to offer social support during a time of social distancing. The governor ordered houses of worship closed on March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Video conferencing classes, live-streamed worship services, and other technological tools are being used across the state, especially in the lead up to Easter this Sunday and for Passover, which starts April 8th.
For example, The Temple in Louisville – which is Kentucky’s oldest and largest Jewish congregation – has “gone virtual” – according to its website. That includes a plan for virtual Seder meals, with food that can be picked up “take-out” style.
Many Christian churches are finding creative ways to celebrate Easter. The Presbyterian Church (USA), which is headquartered in Louisville, recently issued guidance to churches that they could serve communion “virtually.” Traditionally, Presbyterians – like many protestant congregations – would serve communion in community with bread and juice, but during social distancing they can be lead in communion through a video conferencing call, for example, with each participant using whatever they have on hand – water and crackers, bread and wine, etc.
The Guiding Light Islamic Center in Louisville, meanwhile, has also cancelled in-person events, but is working to serve each other and the community in other ways. For example, they worked to translate COVID-19 information into Arabic, Bosnian, French, Gujurati, Somali, Turkish, Urdu and Wolof.
On April 1, the Center also posted on Facebook that for the first time in history the Athaan, the Islamic call to prayer, has been performed over loud speakers in Louisville, in support of Beshear’s request for houses of worship to ring bells, etc. at 10 a.m. every morning.