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Churches in Missoula turn to technology to connect with congregations

Empty Church Pews
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 12, 2020

MISSOULA — Easter looked a little different this year for those who normally attend a religious gathering for the holiday.

Church pews may be empty, hymnals left unopened, but despite this year’s circumstances, local religious leaders are still finding a way to share the message of Easter.

Like many other churches across the country, First United Methodist Church in Missoula along with Grace Methodist Church, are working together and turning to technology to connect with their congregations

“We’re shifting into livestreaming and zoom based worship, and I think we are making connections,” said Daniels.

Reverend Daniels delivered his Easter sermon to an audience watching from their computer screens...but his message remained the same.

“Especially in dark times, we’re just reminding ourselves of the light we’re given. Faith basically tries to transcend the reality around us by understanding that God’s behind it all, God’s with us in it all, and that’s the message of Easter, even death doesn’t have that power over us to keep us separate from each other or from God,” said Daniels.

Although these are unconventional times, Daniels has seen many people in his congregation putting their faith into action.

“We have a team developing a system of visitation trying to connect with members and friends of our church to check in,” said Daniels.

And if you’re struggling with this new reality, Daniels recommends a passage he’s turned to that offers a little reassurance right now.

“Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. I think sometimes when we’re at a loss and we’re not sure what to do or where to go or how to operate life, simply to try to acknowledge, pay attention to, search for, long for God, God’s doing the same thing. Holding out his hand and trying to open his heart to us,” said Daniels.

First United Methodist Church will continue holding their services through Facebook live and Zoom for the time being. Their Sunday service begins at 10:30am.