The Uncertain Future of Faith – and Health – in a Coronavirus World (US News)


    The Uncertain Future of Faith – and Health – in a Coronavirus World – By Joseph P. Williams (US News) / July 2 2020

    Research points to better health for religious adherents, but online worship prompted by COVID-19 comes with plenty of questions and an impact that’s not yet clear.

    Once a consistent Sunday presence at Silver Spring United Methodist Church, Aimee Isaac was losing her religion. Worship rarely failed to improve her mood, but recently she’d found herself spending less and less time in the pews.

    Her participation in the suburban Washington, D.C. church ground to a halt, however, when her marriage to an assistant clergywoman ended and Isaac moved to Frederick, Maryland. Unable to pinpoint why something that had always made her feel good wasn’t working anymore, Isaac completely checked out of church, but still yearned for a spiritual connection.

    She began visiting an Episcopal church near her new home, and then the coronavirus swept in, forcing it to shut down. But when the church began streaming worship services online, Isaac says a curious thing happened: “I just really started to get involved again.”

    “It’s actually been a great experience,” says Isaac, 41. The change, she says, fits her lifestyle as a nurse: “We have morning prayer, we have evening prayer, we have weekend, evening and noontime prayer – things that for a busy professional, and for most of us who commute, we would never be able to attend regularly.”

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