As I write, our journey with COVID-19 and its multiplying variants continues and we are still dealing with a lot of uncertainty. Many are still tentatively and cautiously beginning to venture into in-person activities.
Congregations and their leaders are discovering how complicated and complex trying to get back to a semblance of normal can be. In my own congregation, we received a long list of carefully thought-out instructions about taking part in in-person worship, aware that everything could be shut down again with little warning.
In the midst of all this, many of us are beginning to evaluate our experiences with using digital technology to help us navigate the pandemic. Our cover story Digital religion explores some of what is being discussed among us.
There is still a great deal to explore and evaluate but it does appear that some type of hybrid blend of in person and online activities will likely emerge as common practice.
There are many useful and worthwhile discoveries and online practices to continue that can help us to get things done and to share and explore ideas together.
It is also clear that people do need people, face-to-face, talking and touching and just sitting quietly together.
While online activity helps a bit when being together in person is not possible, it is a poor substitute for being there in the flesh. Perhaps that’s why God decided that it was necessary for the Word to become flesh.
Most agree about the benefits of being physical fit but often overlook the benefits of spiritual fitness. In Q & A (p. 15), you will learn about how spiritual direction may be worth considering.
The Reformation emphasis on the relationship between law and gospel is seldom a topic of conversation any more. Preaching law and gospel (p. 9) urges us to reconsider the importance of balancing them.
Our newest column Companions in Faith (p. 6) discusses how Anglicans and Lutherans are helping each other work toward reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination.
Kenn Ward, Editor