How has the so called "pandemic" affected you?

May 6, 2020
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South Carolina
Not sure if this is the right forum for this question. But I have found that mandates, etc... have affected people differently across this country. Our governor still has mandates in place but has left the churches alone. Most of our churches are meeting. Some meet with "non waiver" agreements, some follow social distancing, some wear masks, etc... Our church locked down for 2 weeks at the request of the governor when all of this began in March, then we opened back up. No one is required to wear a mask unless they desire. We don't do social distancing at church (we like to hug too much!). We still have our snacks and pot lucks and gatherings. None have gotten sick from Covid 19.

I have greatly admired the governor in South Dakota on her stance during all of this. It has broken my heart to see so many livelihoods lost, business closed, increased suicide, etc... I breaks my heart to see children going to school with masks when it has been shown that they are the least likely to ever get this sickness and will not carry it to others. There is so much misinformation out there and it saddens me that so many can see the darkness of the media and fail to see their darkness in all of this. But I ramble .... how have you, your church, and your community been affected?
 

bobinfaith

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Hello Exonomia;

Yes, Pastor, "How has the so called "pandemic" affected you? fits well in General Discussions.

As I was reading your thread I had thoughts of when we lived in South Carolina back in 1970 - 1971. Social and political times were different then. My Dad was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, I was the new guy in Middle School, the year my school integrated. Integrated?!?
Being from San Diego, integrated was unfamiliar territory for my siblings and myself. It was a tough experience to see fights and tension between colors happening weekly.

At 13 and 14 years of age, I played Little League and our senior division won the state championship in 1970. I played in a rock band. I was not an angel, was mischievous, but my parents took us to church every Sunday. The one thing I remember that remained constant in this beautiful state was the Christian faith. Not just our family but most of the state. Almost all my "teenage" friends and kids went to church with their family, youth group and Bible studies. The worship services were packed weekly back then and this was the norm.

Today In 2020 has been a tough year for my family and Christian community here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our last worship service was March 15th. Social distancing and lock down mandates have differed between the many counties. Many church sanctuaries are empty but ZOOM and other apps on the internet enabled church worship and Bible study gatherings. Still, there remained tension in the churches and our state of California.

Churches were fined by the authorities because they broke the restrictions for sanctuary services. Other churches closed down because they couldn't pay their rent or mortgage. Pastors have quit. People got fed up because their faith didn't encourage them during a loss of work, finances, food, and break down of families, especially the Christian faith.

There's much more, but this alone has affected many of us and these United States greatly, not to mention the darkness from your other thread, "The guiding light of Heaven"
But the one thing that has remained constant, are those, our brothers and sisters in Christ who remain steadfast in their faith. Our county lifted the restrictions on the lock down and our church family gathered again for Sunday sanctuary worship every week during October.

Matthew 24:13, 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. - ESV

Since 1970 and 1971 my late mother, or an elderly who may have passed away, encouraged me when I was a young whipper snapper, told me I would go through growing pains as a teen and when I became an adult, but to always put "my trust in the Lord." I'll never forget those words and have stayed with me since.

I don't know how long the pandemic and other sufferings will last, and yes, it will continue to affect us, but what was taught to me back then is what I can continue to pass on to others, and pray that they will receive the Gospel being shared in these times.

God bless you, Pastor and your family, for sharing this topic.
 
Feb 10, 2015
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Our church closed for a while but maintained broadcasting services on the internet and on Facebook. I do know that several people would commonly 'sneak in' to worship in person.

Many of the ministries thru the week were curtailed, but they managed to continue on a sometimes limited manner. One of them is assembling tract booklets, and this could continue without too much violation of social distancing. Others had to be more seriously modified or suspended.

We are now back to in person worship and there was a series of revival meetings last week!

We used to start services (after prayer) by walking around the church and greeting each other shaking hands and just showing our love for each other. We now are encouraged to wave instead.

My wife and I still listen online, but look forward to attending midweek prayer meetings.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Florida
Not sure if this is the right forum for this question. But I have found that mandates, etc... have affected people differently across this country. Our governor still has mandates in place but has left the churches alone. Most of our churches are meeting. Some meet with "non waiver" agreements, some follow social distancing, some wear masks, etc... Our church locked down for 2 weeks at the request of the governor when all of this began in March, then we opened back up. No one is required to wear a mask unless they desire. We don't do social distancing at church (we like to hug too much!). We still have our snacks and pot lucks and gatherings. None have gotten sick from Covid 19.

I have greatly admired the governor in South Dakota on her stance during all of this. It has broken my heart to see so many livelihoods lost, business closed, increased suicide, etc... I breaks my heart to see children going to school with masks when it has been shown that they are the least likely to ever get this sickness and will not carry it to others. There is so much misinformation out there and it saddens me that so many can see the darkness of the media and fail to see their darkness in all of this. But I ramble .... how have you, your church, and your community been affected?

Well.......My personal advice and what we have done as a church is to do MORE than is required by government leaders.

Our governor in Florida never said that the churches should close. However, We did close for 6 weeks out of the caution to our members. We took that time to sanitize the entire campus. We sanitized all the Bibles, pews and songbooks.

It bothers me as well to see businesses close and people wearing masks and standing apart. However, it bothers me more to attend the funeral of people who have died from this virus because they did not follow the advice of those in charge.

As of Yesterday, we still require everyone to sanitize at the door and someone stands there with the material to do that.
We require that everyone wear a mask and we give one to those who do not come with one.
We require 6 feet apart unless it is a family unit.
We do not have fellowship dinners anymore.
We do not do Communion anymore.
We do not have a fellowship time anymore but instead wave.
We do not even have an offering plate passed anymore. However, the giving is more now than ever before.
We simple do not take chances.

We do our services on line through Facebook.

The reason is really simple for me and the deacons of our church. You see, it is ME who is present with the church. There are no government officials present when someone gets sick and dies.....just ME!
IF we do not take all the suggested precautions and someone get this virus at the church, and dies out of our reluctance to take care of people.......
"It will be ME who will have to live with that guilt the rest of my life and quite frankly, I can not do that".

When IK am the one responsible for the heath and safety of others, I will always error on the side of safety and LIFE no matter what the misinformation might or might not be or not matter how I feel about business losses and mask wearing.
What I do know is that there are thousands of people who are dead.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Florida
Hello Exonomia;

Yes, Pastor, "How has the so called "pandemic" affected you? fits well in General Discussions.

As I was reading your thread I had thoughts of when we lived in South Carolina back in 1970 - 1971. Social and political times were different then. My Dad was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter, I was the new guy in Middle School, the year my school integrated. Integrated?!?
Being from San Diego, integrated was unfamiliar territory for my siblings and myself. It was a tough experience to see fights and tension between colors happening weekly.

At 13 and 14 years of age, I played Little League and our senior division won the state championship in 1970. I played in a rock band. I was not an angel, was mischievous, but my parents took us to church every Sunday. The one thing I remember that remained constant in this beautiful state was the Christian faith. Not just our family but most of the state. Almost all my "teenage" friends and kids went to church with their family, youth group and Bible studies. The worship services were packed weekly back then and this was the norm.

Today In 2020 has been a tough year for my family and Christian community here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our last worship service was March 15th. Social distancing and lock down mandates have differed between the many counties. Many church sanctuaries are empty but ZOOM and other apps on the internet enabled church worship and Bible study gatherings. Still, there remained tension in the churches and our state of California.

Churches were fined by the authorities because they broke the restrictions for sanctuary services. Other churches closed down because they couldn't pay their rent or mortgage. Pastors have quit. People got fed up because their faith didn't encourage them during a loss of work, finances, food, and break down of families, especially the Christian faith.

There's much more, but this alone has affected many of us and these United States greatly, not to mention the darkness from your other thread, "The guiding light of Heaven"
But the one thing that has remained constant, are those, our brothers and sisters in Christ who remain steadfast in their faith. Our county lifted the restrictions on the lock down and our church family gathered again for Sunday sanctuary worship every week during October.

Matthew 24:13, 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. - ESV

Since 1970 and 1971 my late mother, or an elderly who may have passed away, encouraged me when I was a young whipper snapper, told me I would go through growing pains as a teen and when I became an adult, but to always put "my trust in the Lord." I'll never forget those words and have stayed with me since.

I don't know how long the pandemic and other sufferings will last, and yes, it will continue to affect us, but what was taught to me back then is what I can continue to pass on to others, and pray that they will receive the Gospel being shared in these times.

God bless you, Pastor and your family, for sharing this topic.

If we have had this much trouble with the virus......what do you think it will be like when the Anti Christ demands that everyone take his mark in order to buy food and water and run your business.

Seems to me that this event we are living through is a precursor of what will happen then.

Your thoughts brother??????
 

bobinfaith

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If we have had this much trouble with the virus......what do you think it will be like when the Anti Christ demands that everyone take his mark in order to buy food and water and run your business.

Seems to me that this event we are living through is a precursor of what will happen then.

Your thoughts brother??????
Hello Major;

My thoughts are those who follow Christ know the shape of things to come, by preparing, by studying the Word, remain fervent in our heart prayer and continue to worship our Lord and Savior.

Many of our Christian brothers and sisters need to move beyond the basics of our faith and grow in the understanding of who God is and Who will fulfill all things to come, according to His Word. Moving beyond breeds growing in preparedness.

This way God sees our hearts with Him, and will equip us when we receive the
affects, effects and impact of what's going on in 2020 and the things to come. In other words, doing something about it.

Just this morning while I was writing my original post to Exonomia's thread, my neighbor / friend's house burned down. I've known him for 22 years and my other neighbors and myself are tending to him and his mother. Right now he is cursing the pandemic, why did God allow this, but most important to him, his house burned down.

I'm not the Savior here, but I have all the faith God will prompt me to do or say at that moment for my friend of 22 years.

When the Anti Christ makes his mark, it is already including these; the wicked, evil and worship of the beast (identified as satan) are marks that we cannot see. But how can we understand and apply these teachings if we aren't moving beyond the basics with our faith?

If we don't genuinely increase our faith, who and what can we understand, and prepare for the things to come?
Luke 17:5-10

God bless you, Pastor, and your family.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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We had a few deaths at a rest home near me and my town. Total number 26. But many more caught it and recovered.

Churches have been online or meeting in smaller groups at home. Some ministries are still going - community meal is 'takeaway'.
Businesses had to shut down twice and so did schools. It has been a bit of a disruption more for small businesses finding it hard if they can't pay rents or were already on the rocks, and high school students studying for exams.

Those in hospitality and tourism industries have been hit hardest. My mums factory where she used to work (now she's retired) cut a lot of staff, they won't be able to operate like they were before.

Our govt has been pretty good at keeping most people safe, the wage subsidies helped keep us afloat, it won't be something anyone has to pay back. We hope.

Some businesses did a roaring trade online, though others are finding orders etc delayed, but people just prepare ahead, there hasn't really been huge panics as the entire country went into lockdown together, and my city.

I'm responsible for my school library but just followed the Ministry of Education's recommendations and what our school were doing, there were plans in place for that. Some children wore masks, teachers made them, and worried parents kept their children at home and made arrangements to look after them. The online thing wasn't that successful for my school mostly because not everyone had devices or families had to share.

I think some people forget that families don't always consist of ONE child lol, and often children need to share rooms, there's also many children from broken homes that don't have just ONE place of residence. We wash our hands a lot and don't socialise as much as we used to.
 
Thank you so much for sharing this....there's so much to consider to make the best decisions for people.....I'm so sorry to her about your mom's old work place......

i see you are from New Zealand...I have heard good things about your prime minister

praying for you and all you do in the library!
 
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It sure is a lot to think about. People's health and wellbeing, and those that are most vulnerable - the elderly and the young. Our prime minster and her party do represent both these people who work for a living and those who don't earn because they are in school or retired - just because people don't earn doesn't mean they can't be looked after in our country.

NZ's main economy is made up of SMEs - small business enterprises of less than 40 people. And of course tourism was a huge earner for our country. But now borders are closed only the very rich can afford travel in our own country, ironically.
But one thing I think about is why do we rely so much on money borrowed from someone else (other countries?) if we can just make our own. Because it's not a good thing to be in debt. Why can't things be forgiven and wiped.

The other thing is having a basic universal income might be a good idea, for everyone. We used to have a great standard of living, most everyone was able to have a home, even if it was a state one. We had welfare from cradle to grave. Now lots of people miss out and there are more homeless people on the street.

I can't afford to own a home on my own if it was just me earning, and there would be no way I could afford rent.
 
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Sep 3, 2009
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Hello Major;

My thoughts are those who follow Christ know the shape of things to come, by preparing, by studying the Word, remain fervent in our heart prayer and continue to worship our Lord and Savior.

Many of our Christian brothers and sisters need to move beyond the basics of our faith and grow in the understanding of who God is and Who will fulfill all things to come, according to His Word. Moving beyond breeds growing in preparedness.

This way God sees our hearts with Him, and will equip us when we receive the
affects, effects and impact of what's going on in 2020 and the things to come. In other words, doing something about it.

Just this morning while I was writing my original post to Exonomia's thread, my neighbor / friend's house burned down. I've known him for 22 years and my other neighbors and myself are tending to him and his mother. Right now he is cursing the pandemic, why did God allow this, but most important to him, his house burned down.

I'm not the Savior here, but I have all the faith God will prompt me to do or say at that moment for my friend of 22 years.

When the Anti Christ makes his mark, it is already including these; the wicked, evil and worship of the beast (identified as satan) are marks that we cannot see. But how can we understand and apply these teachings if we aren't moving beyond the basics with our faith?

If we don't genuinely increase our faith, who and what can we understand, and prepare for the things to come?
Luke 17:5-10

God bless you, Pastor, and your family.

Well said.

It is a shame that so many people blame God when tragedy happens.
 
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People question God I don't know if they blame Him personally, but people seem to complain a lot!!

Why not place blame where it is due...on Satan who tricks people. The thing is, we all need to wise up and not fall for his tricks. Anytime we are feeling too proud, even self righteous, Satan finds it easy to just get in an attack. That's why it's important to be humble, that we are only here by the grace of God.

I'm sure many of us know this verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.
 
Dec 5, 2020
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This pandemic has changed my life in SO many ways. No thanksgiving or Christmas with my family. Remote video chats with doctors...its just all bizzare. I am not used to living like this...
I quite agree. For me there is the added complication of caring for my wife's mother 97 who has mid-stage dementia and has a great deal of trouble leaving a mask on. A routine grocery shopping trip is much less a simple routine and requires planning and a greater amount of time.

Mom basically can't go out at this time for her own safety and ours. So one has to plan accordingly.

The great thing is that we have God's help now just as much as we ever have. God is no less gracious now and perhaps more gracious.
 

bobinfaith

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This pandemic has changed my life in SO many ways. No thanksgiving or Christmas with my family. Remote video chats with doctors...its just all bizzare. I am not used to living like this...

Hello Jesse;

At the end of last Sunday our church has 3 men who got the virus and are in quarantine, and a sister who is waiting for the test results.

In 2020 we have been praying with the whole church community in the battle against the virus. But when our own church family members got it, it really hit us hard.

Many have told me, not just in the church but in our community that they are also exercising what you chose to do in your home, no Thanksgiving, Christmas or other gatherings.

I quite agree. For me there is the added complication of caring for my wife's mother 97 who has mid-stage dementia and has a great deal of trouble leaving a mask on. A routine grocery shopping trip is much less a simple routine and requires planning and a greater amount of time.

Mom basically can't go out at this time for her own safety and ours. So one has to plan accordingly.

The great thing is that we have God's help now just as much as we ever have. God is no less gracious now and perhaps more gracious.

Hello CPerkins;

God bless your mother in law and the care you and your wife are giving her. My wife's sister, 60 years old, lives with us and had a kidney and liver transplant back in April but we have taken the measures to keep her safe from covid.

I'm joining you in prayer for God's help.

Please pray for those in our church family who are battling the virus.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas.
 
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aw sorry to hear it's been affecting your church congregation Bob.
In NZ we're relatively ok as we lockdown and quarantined early, but there's always the odd case that keeps popping up enough to keep us on our toes. As I live in the biggest city, I've got to be a lot more careful, since I'm just generally around people a lot more than other people who live in other parts of the country.

There's a kind of a push-me-pull you aspect to this pandemic as well, as now people who had tourism are now relying on domestic tourists mostly from Auckland, but Aucklanders don't particularly want to spend all their money travelling round the country either (and who says Aucklanders are the rich ones?) and we don't want to be the ones spreading virus and causing further disruption.

And I haven't been back to regular church attendance not just cos of virus but I do need a break from too much socialising. It gets crazy in December when you've got a gathering planned for practically every night of the week, but I'm not going to everything just for the sake of being sociable.
 
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Just heard today that it is likely to take 6 months to vaccinate the population here in Washington, assuming an aggressive approx 18,000 per day get vaccinated. Turns out part of the problem is there are just not enough medical staff to take care of all the vaccinations. Churches in our state remain closed since March last year. Our church has a very high percentage that are over 60 and so they will probably remain closed over these next roughly 6 months.

Thankfully we are able to meet via zoom and still have some activities via zoom.

I think of this time as preparation because I do believe that we may see other troubles coming in the future. God does watch over his people and he has a way of making sure of his people. This trial is nearing its end though.

I thank God though because he does work all things together for good even though we might not always understand the good staring in our eyes.

God Bless.
 

Via dolarossa

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I was meant to get through reading this thread but I went away to Cyprus for a few week.
Now I’m Praying for all your countries and congregations and that this pandemic will ease off within the vaccinations.

it’s looking pretty bleak here also, with our government not ruling out further restrictions if needed, even in full lockdown. But vaccinations are underway.
I think the only thing that has changed for me is not seeing my family on a regular basis. Much of our communication is now online. My church I joined in the first week before this pandemic began has closed, but just recently I found out it is open for worship which I can now attend next couple of weeks.
I’ve had 3 month of driving lessons in a 12 month period...
But that’s the least of the worries.

stay safe everyone 🙏
 
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Dec 5, 2020
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I was meant to get through reading this thread but I went away to Cyprus for a few week.
Now I’m Praying for all your countries and congregations and that this pandemic will ease off within the vaccinations.

it’s looking pretty bleak here also, with our government not ruling out further restrictions if needed, even in full lockdown. But vaccinations are underway.
I think the only thing that has changed for me is not seeing my family on a regular basis. Much of our communication is now online. My church I joined in the first week before this pandemic began has closed, but just recently I found out it is open for worship which I can now attend next couple of weeks.
I’ve had 3 month of driving lessons in a 12 month period...
But that’s the least of the worries.

stay safe everyone 🙏

I'm glad to hear that you can soon go to church services again.

Each country faces it's own issues with a common problem. I recently saw news that a city near Beijing in China is in full lockdown as well. We've not had lockdowns though we have had stay at home orders that allowed essential trips. Currently for us gatherings are limited and masks are mandatory. Hospitals have some capacity, but not much. New cases of the virus skyrocketed as they have in so many areas of the world.

Millions in China lockdown over new COVID-19 threat (msn.com)

In spite of all of that, it is clear that they are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The world is at the mercy of the unknown, but we have God's mercy and love. I thank God that he watches over us all as his children.

God bless each of you and watch over you all as you as you walk these last steps through this trial.

cp
 
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