Zoom, Zoom

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Nearly 20 years ago, Mazda made commercials with the theme, “Zoom, Zoom!” (search YouTube). Now the word Zoom is solely related to one thing—video-conferencing technology of the day.

I have been in higher education for eleven years now. With that, I have been teaching through the use of video-conferencing tools for about five or six years. And I’ve also taught in all kinds of settings—traditional classroom, hybrid, online, live video, accelerated, full-semester. You name it. [Are there others?!] But what we are experiencing now during the Coronavirus pandemic is quite different, especially when it comes to video-conferencing and education. Continue reading

Experiencing My Sadness in This Time

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I am experiencing sadness today. I have experienced sadness during the Coronavirus pandemic previously, but this is a “new” kind of sadness today. How so? I realize that 2020 could be one of the most painful years in my forty years. Not because of Coronavirus sicknesses, deaths, and loss of jobs and money for so many. Oh, yes, I grieve that and will continue to do so. I know that.

But what I realized today brought up a different reason for my sadness.

Due to our own deep-seated anxiety as a society in general, we are most likely about to hit a massive—and I mean massive—complication as we move forward in the coming days, weeks, and months. It has already reared its ugly head—in the news, on social media, and the like. And this whole thing is very connected to political partisanship.

What is this problem? Continue reading

Post-Coronavirus & the Technological Challenge

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One of the wise practices I believe churches (in general, but not all) are taking up in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic is honoring the stay-at-home mandates issued by city mayors, state governors, and even the federal government. I do not believe this is an infringement upon our first amendment rights, nor is it persecution. Persecution would be if the stay-at-home mandate was issued only for Christians (or any religious group, for that matter). Rather, this is something being issued to as much of society as possible, all to protect from the spread of the virus and to help flatten the curve, as we await possible vaccine options to be uncovered. In a sense, we could say there is an aspect of loving our neighbors as ourselves through this practice of staying at home.

With that, churches have typically moved their services to online streaming on Sundays. Or, as in the case of my own church and others, we are recording the service and posting the videos, all in an effort to help ease technical difficulties.

Through all the streaming and videos of church services, what is interesting to note is the rise in church “attendance” over these past weeks. I put the word attendance in quotes because it is somewhat challenging to track this in the time of the Coronavirus, mainly because all one has to do is watch the video for a few minutes and he or she can be tracked as an attendee. Still, the numbers are saying attendance is up quite a bit. Continue reading