Adapting with grace
By Allison Flores
The Cuero Record
Offering online worship services, free parking lot WiFi, and even transforming their “Free Little Library” into a Free Little Food Pantry, Grace Episcopal Church has adapted to our new reality with, well, grace. Seeing church closures in more urban areas in the wake of COVID-19, Reverend Reagan Gonzalez, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, was faced with decisions on how to continue services.
“I saw a lot of clergy colleagues switching to online services as their public worship had to be suspended–even weeks before we had to,” stated Gonzalez during a video interview.
“Our Bishop in this Diocese left it up to our discretion for a little while, up until Gov. [Greg] Abbott’s declaration.”
With the safety of others in mind, Gonzalez looked to practice social distancing within the church.
“In light of trying to prevent the spread of anything, and to keep each other safe, we did morning prayer [instead of Holy Communion] to keep our social distance [on Sunday, March 15], and then it was decided with me and the leadership of Grace that the following Sundays, we would suspend public worship and go virtually.”
Upon suspending public worship, powerful signs in front of Grace Episcopal Church read: “The Church isn’t a building, we are the Church” and “Worship isn’t canceled, just changed”.
Gonzalez started using Facebook Live to hold her services, and even created a YouTube channel for people in her congregation to use who were not on social media.
Filming the videos from her home, Gonzalez has given her congregation an inside look at her personal life, without actually being in person.
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