Buena Vista church deals with COVID case

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 6:52 PM EDT
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BUENA VISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - On most Sunday mornings, the Buena Vista Presbyterian Church is filled with the sound of services, but instead it was Rev. Howard Boswell by Facebook from home.

The church was empty because he got the news that a member of the congregation tested positive for COVID-19.

“The first decision I made was to suspend worship for today and next Sunday,” Boswell said, “Or in-person worship as we call it.”

It was not a decision he welcomed. The church has been able to do in-person service for the last two weeks.

“I did not feel I wanted to put anyone else at risk just in case,” he explained. “I don’t feel like I do [have it], but you never know.”

So it was online all the way, a situation they had planned for even though Rev. Boswell had to innovate a bit.

“I put the tablet on and used it as almost like a teleprompter,” he said. “And then I had the camera on the computer shooting me, so it was, it was weird. It was just weird.”

Because in a normal service, there’s so much more than just what he does. Having a congregation matters.

“You give them things, and then they give it back to you,” he said. “I mean, even in Presbyterians, who are sometimes referred to as God’s frozen chosen, yet you get stuff from them.”

But he and his small congregation – it’s right around 100 -- are adapting, and working their way through the COVID crisis.

“Every day is different nowadays, which is kind of difficult for me,” Boswell said. “I’m used to routine, but that’s okay.”

Regardless, Rev. Boswell does have one wish: “The vaccine cannot come soon enough.”

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