Discernment, sustainability, & emerging practices during COVID-19 pandemic

The focus of many religious communities trying to “do church” has shifted over the weeks and months since the pandemic began. Between March and May churches and other faith communities were working hard to move the worship experience online. Pastors were stretched thin as they fostered intentional community and connection using web-based media. For many, the learning curve was steep. Now,these religious communities have moved into new deliberations about making online gatherings sustainable, while other congregations are considering the effecacy of returning to in-person worship. We at Andover Newton recognize different leaders are looking for a vast array of context-specific information. 

Andover Newton has launched this second resource page that focuses on the long-term impact and implications of social distancing within communtities of faith. On this new page, we share what other communities are doing to discern next steps, to care for sick congregants, to perform rights of passage, and to build sustainable networks of support from a distance.  The original COVID-19 resource page will remain live and it can be found under the “Spiritual Community” tab on this website.

This new page is structured in much the same as the first. The categories found below will provide links to best practices, reflections from Andover Newton alumni/ae, and other resource pages created by our historic denominational partners and affiliates. This page will not be updated as frequently as the first, but emerging insights will continue to be added when we are made aware of them.

As a reminder, the partners on the Sterling Quadrangle - Yale Divinity School, Andover Newton Seminary, Berkeley Divinity School, The Center for Faith and Culture, and the Institute for Sacred Music - have also joined together to create various resources and opportunities for connection on an updates and resources page

If you have questions or suggestions for this page, please email Ned Allyn Parker.

Resources can be found under the following headings, which are digitally anchored within the list that follows:

In certain instances, the topics listed above overlap with each other. For example, an Andover Newton alum may write a piece about clergy self-care, or a denominational partner may offer suggested guidelines for resuming in-person worship. In these instances, we have done our best to share these offerings under the most appropriate category…

Reflections and Guidance from Andover Newton Founding Dean Sarah Drummond
Reflections by or about Alumni/ae and Friends
Tools for discernment around resuming in-person worship
Clergy support, well-being, and self-care

New resources and reflections about rights of passage during pandemic

New and updated resources from our denominational partners and affiliates