August 06, 2020 | by Jim Patterson
Technology has provided many answers for pastors trying to stay connected with their members during the coronavirus pandemic.
But in some rural or smaller churches, landline telephones and newsletters sent via snail mail continue to play a role.
“The average age of our congregants is probably around 70,” said Shelly Young, office communications coordinator at Grace United Methodist Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico. “But most of the ones who are not connected (to the internet) are upwards of 80 to 90. Most of them don’t even have a cell phone. They have their landline and they want to use it.”
The Rev. Lauri Hartley, pastor at Willacoochee United Methodist Church and Beulah United Methodist Church in Willacoochee, Georgia, mails copies of her sermons each week to eight church members who don’t have internet.
“I include one of the bulletins from whichever church they attend,” she said. “So they have the prayer list and stuff like that.”
Other older church members have proven willing to use technology, to a degree. At St. Mark United Methodist Church and West Green United Methodist Church in Douglas, Georgia, congregants respond well to phone calls and text messages.