As we move through this COVID-19 pandemic, begun during Lent 2020, our churches face unprecedented challenges. Our worship-in-community has been suspended as clergy and lay leaders struggle to develop new technologies to share adapted liturgies. Our bishops, priests and deacons are stretched to nearly unimaginable limits in their pastoral responsibilities. Nothing is as it was before, and when this pandemic is “over,” we will move into something new; we won’t ever go back to exactly the way it used to be.
All our dioceses and churches and organizations are coping with the difficult situation with energy, creativity and determination. Innovations and adaptations of all sorts are being used to preserve spiritual traditions that are centuries old, to ensure that communities living at long distances from each other can feel unified and to provide spiritual succor, stability and inspiration.
What exactly is each diocese doing? Each church? Who is keeping track of this significant moment in national and church history? Who is ensuring that diocesan and congregational records of responses to the pandemic are collected and organized so that historians a century from now will understand our church’s daily life in this time of crisis? Who? NEHA’s current and future members. NEHA’s historians and archivists.
NEHA is initiating the NEHA COVID-19 Episcopal Church Records Project. We are asking members to
Please send your responses, descriptions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll post some responses . We’ll gather responses and the Project Team will analyze the patterns that emerge with an eye to publication in The Historiographer in a year. Together, NEHA members can assemble an accurate and detailed picture of daily life in the Episcopal Church during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will provide an invaluable service to historians of the future.
Welcome to the NEHA COVID-19 Episcopal Church Records Project.