After fighting in the Vietnam War, Ehrhardt, 76, was drawn to Quakers because of their message of nonviolence. “I’m a very conflicted, confused and bewildered man,” he said. “The meeting for me is a touchstone. It’s the thing holding me together.” So when he found out that the meeting could no longer continue because of coronavirus, he felt unmoored. Not long after, the members of the Quaker ministry and council came up with a back up plan. The meetings would resume over Zoom.
Since the worships went virtual at the end of March, Arthur Fink, 73, of Portland, Maine, now attends meetings all around the world. He starts his Sunday at a meeting in Amsterdam, where he used to visit, then joins one in Birmingham, England, and a worship at the Pendle Hill Institute, outside Philadelphia, before finishing back home in Portland, “in one spirit filled day,” he said.
Over Zoom, there is a new intimacy to the gatherings. Faces and expressions are on full display. “I really see that they are deep in worship,” Joan Malin said of her fellow Brooklyn Friends. “There’s a vulnerability when someone is doing that, and here they are putting it onscreen for us to witness,” she said. “It helps me get there, too.”Can You Gather With God Over Zoom? – The New York Times