Touch played a significant role in Jesus ’ ministry too. That he let a woman kiss his feet shocked the Pharisees, but he defended her actions as an appropriate response to forgiveness. Later, Jesus even invited Thomas to touch his wounds. Jesus’ example shows that our bodies are part of how we’re meant to commune with God and each other. How then do Christians balance love’s call to extend safety and welcome?
At Christ Church East Bay in Berkeley, Calif., the Rev. Jonathan St. Clair told me in an email that they encourage vaccinated singles to sit with families or other solo attendees. Ms. Kaiser hopes to do something similar with some of the other widows at her church. Reality SF, a church in San Francisco, took this one step further: Leading up to Easter, it urged the majority-single congregation to form Holy Week pods.
Longer-term use of pods could help singles feel more included in their churches. For most Christian singles I have interviewed, commitment in relationships proved elusive outside marriage; only Catholic priests consistently reported a sense of commitment within a community. Why should so few Christian singles find that?
Singles have the same needs as married people; we simply have different ways to meet them. By giving singles a committed group with which to sit, hug and maybe even eat, pods could help us participate more equally in God’s family.
The @CDCgov recommends socially distanced church services, but what does that mean for singles? In this piece for @WSJ, I draw on some of my #globalsinglenessproject research to describe how churches can address that challenge. (In print June 4.) https://t.co/ouRmzvchjq
— Anna Broadway (@annabroadway) June 3, 2021