Not that I have any extra time on my hands, (I am busier than I have ever been in ministry), but I am taking the time to look into the Spanish Flu epidemic in Birmingham in 1918. I am trying to learn what ministry looked like then because the circumstances are eerily similar.
Because the Spanish Flu hit Birmingham in October 1918, it did not effect our Lenten preaching series. Yes, it was happening then. However, it did impact Sunday gatherings and meetings throughout the week.
On October 8, the City Commission of Birmingham closed all places of public assembly for two weeks, including churches. Before the two weeks was up, it was extended an additional two weeks. However, the ban was lifted on October 31, but further precautions (like wearing gauze masks) were encouraged. (https://www.influenzaarchive.org/cities/city-birmingham.html#)
If possible, I’ll try to get over to the Linn Henley Library where our archives are housed to see what it was we did during those weeks.
This article from 9 Marks (https://www.9marks.org/article/how-dc-churches-responded-when-the-government-banned-public-gatherings-during-the-spanish-flu-of-1918/?fbclid=IwAR1rf_rM-9umq7zO_Uk6X4Khpwy9J21xRqLbVxEMBg2DTvbLohMUV0VbqEc) talks about what happened in Washington, DC during the epidemic. I have a feeling that Birmingham reacted similarly.
Let’s continue to pray and look out of those who will especially need their church family in the coming days.