New Podcast Explores How COVID Has Changed Worship
The InterFaith Leadership Council has recorded its 11th podcast. Lauren Talley, podcast producer, shares some highlights:
On our most recent podcast episode, Rev. Robert Jones spoke to clergy about how the pandemic affected the way we worship.
Rev. Cynthia Rudolph, senior pastor of Oak Grove AME Church, said her church was well-equipped for online services because they already had a media team, but the church had to invest in new cameras, lighting and microphones. “What we realized is that while we were out with COVID, our only means of getting our words out was online,” she said. “And so we have to make that the best possible production that we could.” While the church is now open at limited capacity, Rudolph says the majority of parishioners still attend services online.
For Rabbi Dorit Edut, virtual services at Bay City Temple Beth Israel made it possible to reach a wider audience. “The Zoom option in some ways created a new atmosphere where people who had not attended the synagogue or had moved away suddenly appeared at your service,” she said. “For many people, it was just a blessed feeling to be together.”
The Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit also closed its doors to the public, but four Hindu priests maintained the religious rituals, which were streamed online. Ganga Rajkumar, who served as temple president last year, said that virtual worship was a blessing during the pandemic, but is happy to be returning to in-person services again because there’s a lot that can be missed online. “It’s not a matter of just religious activities,” she said. “We also try to develop our cultural practices and, you know, children need to know how we dress...and what is our culture.”
Shaykh Mohamed Almasmari agreed about the desire to return to in-person services. He’s the imam at the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills. “We don't want to gain the outside world and lose our small community,” he said. “So we would rather people come and attend in person on Fridays. So we made the tough decision to end virtual programs.”
This latest InterFaith Leadership Council podcast exploring faith-related ideas and practices is available on our website and on YouTube at