Posted on May 29, 2020

30 Articles about Doing Church Online, in new eBook

Posted on May 29, 2020 by .BIBLE Registry Categories: Innovation, Online Presence, Spiritual

Network for New Media, Religion & Digital Culture Studies recently published their first eBook, The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online. The eBook cover has an informal subtitle and that meme rightly captures the big idea, "The church isn't empty, the church has been deployed!"

Since March 2020, most churches around the world were forced to closed their buildings due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns, and quarantines. This has prompted churches everywhere to make the move towards tech-driven ways of worshipping together online via the internet.

The idea of doing church online isn't new, though it is new to many churches that have not done it before. Scholars and theologians have studied digital culture and religion for some time, and this season has opened up new areas for research, experimentation, and learning. 

The Distanced Church” brings together religious leaders and scholars to share their reflections on lessons learned, answer questions that have been raised, and present insights gleaned from researching religion online. Contributors to this eBook come from 10 different countries—within North America, Europe, and the Antipodes—and represent 12 different Christian denominations including Mainline, Catholic, and non-denominational churches.

This free eBook aggregates a collection of 30 essays in which pastors, professors, priests, and entrepreneurs explore the challenges and opportunities created for churches during the current global COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Distanced Church

The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online

Download the Free eBook at URL (DOI - available in PDF, ePub, and Mobile formats

Citation: Campbell, Heidi (2020). The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online. Available electronically from

According to the editor, Dr. Heidi Campbell, this eBook has been downloaded over 10,000 times in its first month!

Take a look at the Table of Contents below and see how these 30 articles can help you and your church navigate doing worship online meaningfully and faithfully, as well as understand the role and value for digital literacy in faith formation.

Lessons from the Online Trenches: Church Leaders Stories of Going Online

(1) Turning Flavor of the Month into Staple Diet - Albert Bogle, Church of Scotland, UK

(2) Connection Trumps Technology - Arni Svanur Danielsson, Lutheran World Federation-Geneva, Switzerland

(3) God Equips the Called - Aneya Elbert, St Thomas Episcopal Church, TX, USA

(4) The Unspectacular Pastor: Live and In Person - Steve Evoy, Pastor of Wolverine Free Methodist Church, MI, USA

(5) The Challenges of Online in Indian Country & Rural America - John Floberg, Episcopal Priest, ND, USA

(6) Facilitating Deep Friendship Digitally When Analog Acquaintances are Gone - Zach W Lambert, Restore Austin Church, TX, USA

(7) Live-Streams in the Digital Desert: Reflections on Parish Transitions into the Digital Age - Joanne Mercer, Anglican Parish of Twillingate, Newfoundland, Canada

(8) Throughout the World the Holy Church Acclaims You - Rodger Patience, Church of the Holy Apostles, WI, USA

(9) Getting Back to Normal - Michael Piazza, Broadway United Church of Christ-NY, USA

(10) The Charism of Zoom Church - Nandra Perry, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, TX, USA

(11) Digital is the New Normal – Churches in Germany During the Corona Pandemic - Ralf Peter Reimann, Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany

(12) The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online in a Time of Pandemic - Donna Schaper, United Church of Christ, USA

(13) Four Lessons I’ve Learned in the Wake of the Pandemic - David Silverkors, Church of Sweden, Sweden

(14) Is Your Church Ready for Social Distancing? - Troy Shepherd, Shepherding My Church, TX, USA

(15) Grief, Awareness and Blessing – The Experience of Ministry During a Pandemic - Bryony Taylor, Barlborough and Clowne-Derby Diocese, UK

(16) Being Benedictine Online - Catherine Wybourne, Holy Trinity Monastery, UK

Wisdom from Scholars of Digital Religion and Theology: Research Reflections on Doing Religion Online

(17) What Religious Groups Need to Consider When Trying to Do Church Online - Heidi A Campbell, Texas A&M University, USA

(18) The Biggest Challenge for Churches at this Time - John Dyer, Dallas Theological Seminary, USA

(19) The Distanced Church: Pragmatism, Creativity and Rhythms of Life - Stephen Garner, Laidlaw College-Auckland, NZ

(20) New Media and a New Reformation? - Angela Williams Gorrell, Baylor University, TX, USA

(21) What can history of digital religion teach the newly-online churches of today? - Tim Hutchings, University of Nottingham, UK

(22) An Inclusive Church Community in a Digital Age - Bex Lewis, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

(23) Hope-Storytelling in the Age of Corona: How Pastors Foster the Community of Faith - Ilona Nord, & Swantje Luthe, University of Wuerzburg, Germany

(24) Enabling, Extending and Disrupting Religion in the Early COVID19 Crisis - Pete Philips, University of Durham, UK

(25) The (Re)Discovery of the Digital Environment for Living and Communicating the Faith - Moisés Sbardelotto, Unisinos University, Brazil

(26) 404 Error: The Digital Literacy Page Cannot Be Found - Katherine G Schmidt, Molloy College-NY, USA

(27) Community in the Digital Body of Christ - Matthew John Paul Tan, University of Notre Dame-Australia, Australia

(28) Virtual Now, But for How Long? - Scott Thumma, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, CT, USA

(29) Reassessing Embodiment and its Role in Developing Digital Literacies for Ministry - Stacy Williams-Duncan, University of Virginia, USA & Kyle Matthew Oliver, Columbia University, USA

(30) Is It Real? Mystagogizing the Live-Streamed Service - Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, Notre Dame Seminary-New Orleans, USA