Churches Are Putting the ‘Hospital’ Back in Hospitality: Coronavirus Plague-era Congregations Are Finding Better Ways to Minister to Their Grieving Parishioners and Neighbors.

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jane Waln waited at home as her husband declined in hospice, restricted from visitors by lockdown.

She’d lovingly nursed Dennis through the years as dementia stole him from her, but new health protocols were undermining her hopes for the end she thought they would be able to face together.

When Jane returned to church after Dennis’s death in the summer of 2020, she found no hands reaching out to hold her in her time of sorrow.

Overwhelmed by a maelstrom of pandemic, social, and political struggles, the congregation that had supported her through her many years of caregiving seemed bewildered about what to do next. She was disappointed by how her journey of grief differed from what she had expected due to her church’s pandemic-oriented hesitation.

Yet while isolated grief and impersonal responses may have been the norm two years ago, many local churches are responding with increased skill to the challenges of pandemic loss.

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Source: Christianity Today