Opinion | Praying Together on Zoom: Yes, God Is Present

To the Editor:

Re “You Can’t Meet God Over Zoom,” by Esau McCaulley (Op-Ed, Dec. 26):

As the pastor of a small Lutheran congregation, I appreciated Professor McCaulley’s powerful and personal lament, but could not have disagreed more with his assessment of not being able to encounter God through Zoom worship.

Virtual worship does not work for everyone, but it can also unite us during an unimaginably isolating time. Being able to see and hear familiar people means so much to my parishioners and to me.

In our Zoom services at Trinity Lutheran Church in Park Forest, Ill., God is truly present in our faces, voices and hearts. That connection is a lifeline to seniors and younger families who spend most of the day by themselves, as I do.

The future of Christian worship and action will consist not in church buildings or numbers of souls saved, but in lives connected and social fabric repaired. Virtual worship enables that repair to start now.

(Rev.) Christopher Wogaman
Park Forest, Ill.

To the Editor:

“You Can’t Meet God Over Zoom”? I totally disagree! Since the pandemic began, my husband and I are attending Zoom services with our synagogue. We have found that evening minyan services have become an important ritual for us, punctuating the end of the day. We spend a few minutes chatting with other members of the congregation, joking with one another, and then recite the prayers.

You need 10 people to make a “minyan.” Pre-pandemic we sometimes struggled to get 10 people to the sanctuary. On Zoom our numbers are up!

As for finding God, sometimes She is there in the details. A familiar prayer can suddenly seem as if it is speaking directly to you. A reminder that none of us is alone in these isolating times. A melody that speaks to your soul.

I sincerely hope that Zoom services continue post-pandemic, because these services have made me feel that we are all one.

Linda Trytek
Deerfield, Ill.

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