• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Solon churches hold worship online

Looking forward to being together again

SOLON– We are now limited in how we connect, Rev. Ken Ferguson said.
“COVID -19 has had an impact with how we relate simply because as most people we enjoy shaking hands and patting each other on the back,” the pastor of the Solon United Methodist Church observed. “We enjoy sitting down across from each other for a coffee and roll.
“Today we cannot,” he added. “With the current situation there is a great deal of anxiety around this new reality.”
Solon’s churches, like others across the country, closed all public services and retreated online.
Currently the Solon United Methodist Church (SUMC) holds worship online through its YouTube Channel at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, and a mid-week time for music and prayer on Facebook, Ferguson said via email.
“This is a change of course and we are all on a steep learning curve to provide spiritual guidance and care in a fluid world,” he said. “All of the changes we are making are doable, it is a matter of making necessary adaptations.”
St. Mary Catholic Church streams weekday Mass live on the church’s Facebook page using a cellphone, according to Fr. Charles Fladung.
“We are able to have audio and live pictures streaming out in real time,” he reported in an email. “The Mass for us is always about the live aspect of Christ being real in the presence of his body and blood. So we don’t record.”
Fladung has been live Monday through Thursday at 9 a.m. and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.
He admitted he has been uncomfortable in the new setting.
“Normally we have a church full of people that know the prayer responses,” he said. “When I preside at Mass, I have to say both parts and I find myself talking from the beginning to the end, doing the readings, homily and prayers.
“Our Mass without a congregation is the new normal to keep the spread of the virus in check,” he added.
The Diocese of Davenport, following the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control, closed all masses to public gathering effective March 17. Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may be celebrated with immediate family members and all Catholics in the diocese were dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
Fladung said office work still continues but without parishioners physically present.
“Since we don’t have people at Mass, we don’t have a collection,” he noted. “That will probably be another issue for us.”
St. Mary will still not have its members in the pews for liturgies for Palm Sunday, The Triduum (Holy Thursday-Good Friday- Easter Vigil) and Easter Sunday, but will live-stream the proceedings on the Saint Mary Solon Iowa Facebook page.
Youth members are receiving faith formation classes by email, with some content available online, Fladung added, and an online video subscription (“like Netflix for Catholics”) coming soon.
Things are quiet on the west edge of Solon where St. Mary nestles in among school buildings, he said.
“No buses since school is closed,” he lamented.
But it’s necessary to protect life for people of all ages, he said.
“For the greater good we all must carry on to prevent this outbreak for overwhelming our health care system and workers,” Fladung stated.
He expressed his admiration for those sewing facemasks and converting byproducts of ethanol into hand sanitizers.
“I know we have good people in Solon who are doing good deeds for many people,” he said. “Each of us have found ways to communicate our prayers. I know we will look forward to being together again.”
Ferguson concurred.
“In the season of Lent we are led to pause in ways we never considered before,” he said. "The book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 talks of a time for everything there is a season. This is a season unlike we have seen in a long time. We will get through this time and we will have learned and grown together in ways we cannot yet see.”