Pastor Brenda Nestegaard-Paul stands in the middle of Trinity Church’s sanctuary on Sunday, March 22, where she placed the names of her parishioners in empty pews while praying for each of them. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Vancouver Island reverend keeps up congregation’s spirits during COVID-19 restrictions

Pastor Brenda gets personal while praying among the pews

A pastor in Port Alberni, B.C. has found a way to keep her flock connected despite social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Reverend Brenda Nestegaard Paul of Trinity Church has made labels for every member of her congregation and placed names on pews where people usually sit for Sunday services. She found inspiration from an Italian priest who printed pictures of his parishioners behind every pew.

“I wasn’t going to be able to get pictures, but I know everybody’s names,” said Nestegaard Paul. “I know pretty much where everybody sits.”

There are approximately 65 people in Trinity’s active congregation.

“The response I received from the congregation was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “They so appreciated that I did that. It helps when we’re not able to be together, to have something visible, something tactile to show we’re still all together.”

“It was such an amazingly creative way to make us all still feel connected,” said Laura Sturgeon, a member of the congregation.

Nestegaard Paul intends to keep this up every Sunday until she is able to invite her congregation back to the sanctuary.

“I will gather there every Sunday morning and just be praying for people amidst the names,” she said.

She e-mailed a photo taken by Bronwynn Nestegaard Paul to every member of the congregation, and will supply a hard copy of the photo as well. ”As they receive my prayers they can hold their picture in their hand or in front of them when we are praying for one another, to help keep us connected virtually.

“We’re still the body of Christ, and no virus can separate us.”

Nestegaard Paul’s sermons are available online at www.trinityportalberni.ca. The church also has a Facebook page.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictCoronavirusPort AlberniReligion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

True crime podcaster on mid Island inspired by case of missing Island woman

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young

Alberni Valley Community Foundation releases second round of emergency funding

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation will provide $75,000 to support local charities… Continue reading

Port Alberni’s Cruise for Care returns for encore

Car enthusiasts will honour frontline workers Friday, May 29 on route through city

Accident, downed power lines closes Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Detour is available near Hector Road as BC Hydro crews work to restore power

Huu-ay-aht First Nations qualify for national wage subsidy

Limited partnership structure caused concern when CEWS was first introduced

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in ong-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Most Read