by Sandi Austin

During this time of isolation and self-quarantining, we are using social media as much as we can to stay connected.

But for some, like pastors and teachers, trying to preach or teach online to empty pews or desks can be difficult. What was once a scene of bustling activity has turned into unsettling quiet, and that can be hard. To help teachers and pastors feel more connected as they address their groups online from an empty sanctuary or classroom, here’s a great idea from an Italian priest:

Invite students or parishioners to send in photos of themselves. These photos can then be taped onto pews or students’ desks, so that all those wonderful faces can serve as a reminder of just some of the wonderful kids/people pastors and teachers are addressing!

For Father Peacock of Grand Rapids, who was preaching to an empty sanctuary, the response from his parishioners was overwhelming. He said the pictures kept coming in and it seemed that every time he went to his computer, more and more emails with photos were coming in. “I kept hitting the print button!” he said. Even during this time of isolation and social distancing, Father Peacock has a full house!

Everyone was there in spirit, and that’s just another great way of getting through this difficult time together!

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