Adjusting to Coronavirus Threat

March 13, 2020

by Linda Bloom, UMNS

The Rev. Kelly Dahlman-Oeth gained a new appreciation March 8 for the option of livestreaming Sunday worship after needing to be separate from his congregation in Shoreline, Washington.

“I’m just delighted by the technology that allows us to try to stay connected as much as we can,” he said, before admitting his previous lack of enthusiasm for a “virtual” church experience. “Welcome to this not so brave, somewhat cautious new world.”

Dahlman-Oeth, the pastor of Ronald United Methodist Church, had quarantined himself at home after exposure to COVID-19, the coronavirus.

He said he has had no symptoms before or since learning that an acquaintance he had sat next to at a community meal on Feb. 27 had tested positive for coronavirus. The man had visited his mother at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, a facility associated with most of Washington State’s 23 fatalities from the virus. The state has at least 162 COVID-19 cases currently.