Church during COVID-19


Photo courtesy of Grace Goodro

Grace Goodro

I have grown up going to church every Sunday as something that my family does together. It has always been what we connect the most through and can talk about together. When I was younger, before sports and licenses and all of the other things that come along with growing up, one of our family friends would come over with their four kids after all going to church every Sunday. Church is something that is very normal for me, but I recognize that it is not normal for everyone. I know many people that just go on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday as well as many people who don’t go ever. Many of those people still have a faith that I admire. This is important, because it clarifies the fact that the Church doesn’t make anyone a good or bad person. What makes you a good or a bad person is how you choose to treat other people. 


I have always seen going to church simply as a way to connect with people that think and believe in similar ways to you. Everyone will always have their different opinions within that, but there will at least be one thing to spark a connection. Connection during our current situation is very difficult. The First Baptist Church of Plaistow New Hampshire (FBC Plaistow) has been a place for people to come and worship for 185 years. For the seven of those years that I have personally experienced (pre-pandemic), there was a whole lot of singing and food sharing that simply isn’t possible to do safely with everyone right now. The congregation has an age range from 2 months to 92 years old. In order to keep all ages safe and protected, the past 11 months have looked very different at FBC Plaistow.


There have been many different adaptations to worship services throughout the pandemic. My grandmother who lives in Florida alone doesn’t feel comfortable with the way that her usual church has chosen to worship. They allow people into the sanctuary, with masks and social distancing which is comfortable for the people who choose to attend their services but my grandmother is not comfortable with that amount of contact. She has chosen to try out many different options. When I spoke with her she told me that she had two favorites. One was a service on the beach where she could stay outside and choose the distance that she stayed away from everyone and the other option she enjoys is having me FaceTime her and allow her to listen to our service. She very much misses the connection that she has with her church family but knows that she is making the right choice for her safety. 


My Dad is the current pastor at FBC Plaistow. For the past 47 Sundays, he and the musical director have gone up to the roof of the church and delivered a Sunday message to people who drive up and park in their cars in the parking lot. During the service people are expected to stay in their cars, in the summer you could hear the service with the windows open and in the winter there is a radio station that the service is connected to. They have done this when it was 92 degrees in July and when there was 20 mph wind and 15 degrees in January. The service starts at 10:00 in the morning and ends at 10:30 so that bladders don’t explode in cars. The changes that my Dad has made to the church service has kept everyone safe and made it so that there is a place for people to do one of their normal things in this anything but normal time.