2020 in the Rearview Mirror

By LORETTA FULTON

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that members of Religion News Association voted the effects of COVID-19 on religious institutions and their members as the top religion story of 2020.

Coming in second was the racial unrest that followed police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans, with many faith-based activists and groups taking part in protests. And, the racial unrest led many religious institutions to look deeply into their sometimes discriminatory histories. 

Religion News Association is an organization of reporters who cover religion for the news media. Loretta Fulton, former longtime religion writer for the Abilene Reporter-News and founder and editor of Spirit of Abilene, has been a member since 1997. 

Spirit of Abilene, an online faith forum founded in 2017, chronicled those two major events–COVID-19 and racial unrest–all year, beginning with the first effects of the coronavirus being felt in March and continuing through December. Spirit of Abilene also covered local events protesting racial injustice.

Some of the COVID articles covered the impact on in-person worship, how faith-based groups continued their ministries, and how youth leaders created online programming to keep in touch.

Following are sample stories from 2020 that chronicle those two major events. For more stories, type “COVID-19” “Coronavirus” “Racial Unity” or “Racial Injustice” into the search field on this website.

COVID-19 RELATED STORIES
“Closed Sundays” 
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/03/22/closed-sundays/

“Feeding Ministries Carrying On Through Coronavirus Shutdown” 
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/03/20/feeding-ministries-carrying-on-through-coronavirus-shutdown/

“Healthcare Students Providing Aid”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/04/03/healthcare-students-providing-aid/

“Holy Week Luncheon Series Continues–Minus the Lunch
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/04/04/holy-week-luncheon-series-continues-minus-the-lunch/

“The Church Is Open”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/04/04/the-church-is-open/

“Local Churches Going to Online Services During Virus Shutdown”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/03/27/local-churches-going-to-online-services-during-virus-shutdown/

“Shutdown Can’t Stifle Creativity of Children’s and Youth Ministers”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/03/30/shutdown-cant-stifle-creativity-of-childrens-and-youth-ministers/

“VBS, Other Summer Activities Moving Online This Year”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/05/24/vbs-other-summer-activities-moving-online-this-year/

“Honk If You Loved the Prayer”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/05/07/honk-if-you-loved-the-prayer/

“Finding A Way to Serve Through COVID-19”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/08/03/finding-a-way-to-serve-through-covid-19/

“Christmas 2020 Style–Masks and a Drive-Through Line
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/12/19/christmas-2020-style-masks-and-a-drive-through-line/

“Christmas Eve a Combination of Live and Online Services”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/12/21/christmas-eve-a-combination-of-live-and-online-services/

RACIAL UNREST AND RACIAL UNITY STORIES

“A Prayer in Time of Crisis”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/06/05/a-prayer-in-time-of-crisis/

“Prayers for the Overlooked”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/04/10/prayers-for-the-overlooked/

“New African-American Council of Leaders Declares ‘Hatred Will Not Find a Home Here’
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/07/13/new-african-american-leadership-council-declares-hatred-will-not-find-a-home-here/

“Student Voices Lifted in Protest and Prayer”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/06/08/student-voices-lifted-in-protest-and-prayer/

“Spain Center Takes On White Supremacy in Police Departments”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/07/01/spain-center-takes-on-white-supremacy-in-police-departments/

“Jogging With Ahmaud Arbery”
https://spiritofabilene.com/2020/07/10/jogging-with-ahmaud-arbery/

Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene

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