Amid pandemic challenges, houses of worship show resiliency

The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., including large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude and wonder. In suburban Chicago, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded an online sermon while flying aboard a small plane piloted by a congregant. In New York, Episcopal priest Steven Paulikas heard from someone in France who watched a sermon online and wrote to say he “loved” it. Wilson’s church has been financially stable, and Paulikas says giving is up. But in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, revenue from offerings is down 25%, resulting in layoffs and furloughs.