MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – On any given Sunday, The Reverend Paul Fuener greets dozens of parishioners at Trinity Church in Myrtle Beach.
This Palm Sunday, he stood in a nearly empty sanctuary in front of a webcam where he livestreamed his sermon on Facebook. It’s the new normal for churches across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The church is gathered, that’s it’s original name, the gathering, and we can’t gather now. We’re trying to be safe and not promote the spread of the virus,” The Rev. Fuener, Rector at Trinity Myrtle Beach said.
Although The Rev. Fuener admits livestreaming can be ‘awkward and challenging,’ he says he is thankful for the technology that allows him to continue to encourage the parish to worship and gather, even if they are not together in person.
“One of the main reasons we gather is to encourage each other in the faith. I think it was C. S. Lewis who wrote, nobody leaves the faith on an instantaneous decision. Folks leave their faith gradually, over weeks, years, months, as they sort of drift away. What the church does with service on Sunday is to gather us and to reaffirm our faith together. We hear the gospel, and we are encouraged once again,” The Rev. Fuener said.
Trinity Myrtle Beach will continue to celebrate ‘Holy Week’ online, with livestreamed services on Thursday night, Friday at noon and on Easter.