Keeping the faith: Columbus churches optimistic about future spiritual needs – Columbus Telegram

Posted: May 29, 2020 at 5:47 pm

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Fr. Joe Miksch of St. Isidore Catholic Church performs a blessing in 2017. Miksch said recently he is optimistic about the future of churches, though acknowledged he isn't sure what the impact might be from COVID-19 going forward.

Jim Thelen, pastor at 1C Church in Columbus, poses for a photo inside the facility. He's hopeful the pandemic will result in more blessings and people reconnecting with the faith.

Church leaders in Columbus appear to be hopeful about the future of the communitys need for spiritual nourishment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

When the fear subsides, well see more people coming to church more often, said The Rev. Jim Thelen, of 1C Church, 2200 28th Ave. I think theres going to be a higher priority to going to church.

For the last 15 years, Thelen noted, church attendance has been declining due to families other obligations, such as vacations or sporting events. The pandemic, he said, may have, in a way, reprioritized peoples faith.

The losing the sense of community over the last three months, I think, has caused people to really feel and sense the need of that, Thelen said. I also notice people who have never experienced church - as in coming to church - and have experienced it online. Some are just going to stay online (because) theyre liking it, theyre being fed and nurtured and feeling like theyre being cared for.

He predicted that this group of people will form a new community of online-only attendees. Thelen cited one instance in which individuals from Bulgaria stumbled upon 1Cs live streaming services and now plan to attend online regularly.

I think thats going to be a whole new community, he said. We, the leadership at a church like 1C, need to ask how do we engage them, how do we minister to them when theyre just online. A church service is great, but I think theres more need involved. Were starting to talk about that.

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Keeping the faith: Columbus churches optimistic about future spiritual needs - Columbus Telegram

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May 29th, 2020 at 5:47 pm

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