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New ways of connecting in time of coronavirus

Published: 3/22/2020 4:33:48 PM

In lieu of listing cancellations due to coronavirus, this space will present nontraditional ways some area churches and faith groups are connecting with their members. Share yours: Send to by Thursday at noon.

North Quabbin area

■Pastor Don Theriault of the Athol Orange Baptist church does a sermon on Sunday via Facebook Live. It then gets posted to YouTube for those who are not on Facebook. Theriault has posted other Facebook messages this week as well.


<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>The Rev. Heather Blais of the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew reports, “We are streaming worship each Sunday and following worship with a virtual coffee hour on Zoom. Second Helpings is still happening. All church meetings are by Zoom, as well as virtual Bible study. People are still invited to sit in the church and to walk the labyrinth.”

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>Jeff Galbraith of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is maintaining contact with church family through email updates including a weekly virtual liturgy and posts to Facebook. In addition, frequent phone calls are made to the church family to hear familiar voices and check in.

■The Rev. Dr. Susan Tarolli, interim minister at Second Congregational Church of Greenfield, UCC, said, “We are exploring options for worship, beginning with conference call worship, including music. We are having meetings by conference call. One of our Centering Prayer groups gathered through Zoom. We are also working on a caring network to stay connected and address needs of members, including the possibility of having ‘phone pals’ (in lieu of pen pals), who commit to talking with each other on a consistent basis.”

North County

■Pastor Bob Emberley of the Community Bible Church in Northfield, who just returned from a three-month sabbatical, reports, “We are encouraging our congregation to join worship services online” and keeping in contact through weekly phone calls and email updates.

■Steve Damon of the United Church of Bernardston: UCB will be live streaming elements of worship from the church on Facebook Live. We invite you to gather with us online.

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>First Parish of Northfield, Unitarian will continue its services over the Internet using the video conference platform Zoom. The Zoom link will open at 8:30 a.m. Anyone wishing to practice using Zoom before Sunday may join a training session at 11 a.m. on Saturday using this link:

■Trinitarian Congregational Church of Northfield has started a new venture, “TCC Takeout,” with members invited to submit poems, links to inspirational music and other items, which will be sent by email each week. Call the church office, 413-498-5839, to contribute to it or receive it.

West County

■St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ashfield is “gathering” for morning prayer with sermon on Sundays at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Join URL: or call in by phone: +1 929 205 6099 and use Meeting ID: 242 960 859. We are also meeting at 6 p.m. every Thursday evening, using the same platform, for a virtual potluck supper and compline. said the Rev. Vicki Ix.

■Pastor Jim Rennie, First Baptist Church of Colrain, said, “I am sending out a weekly devotional message to our church family, either to their email address or by letter. It’ll also be on Facebook and our website for others to read.”

■The Rev. Robert Gormbley, interim pastor of First Congregational Church of Shelburne, will continue to provide inspirational scripture and home worship resources to members and friends via email and the church’s website,

South County

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>Father Jon Reardon, of Holy Family Parish in South Deerfield, said, “People can connect via the Holy Family Facebook page for mass and messages. Masses will be live-streamed on Facebook on Saturday at noon, Sunday at 9 a.m., and March 23-27 at 8 a.m. It will also be posted on our website,”

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>Pastor Mark Ellis of the Shutesbury Community Church reports, “I’m sending out a church newsletter today (Friday) to let our people know what we’ll be doing, primarily using Facebook.”

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