Congregations in the Time of COVID

January 2020 – Present

The Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations Project seeks to understand how religious congregations emerge in the years following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. While the onset of the coronavirus pandemic created many challenges for US congregations, the past few years have been chaotic for far more than this public health crisis alone. Congregations have responded in a variety of ways. Understanding the totality of these challenges is imperative for congregations as they continue to navigate the pandemic.


January 22, 2020

The first case of COVID-19 is identified in the United States.

  • Weekly Cases: 6
  • Weekly Deaths: 0

February 29, 2020

The United States records its first death from COVID-19.

  • Weekly Cases: 111
  • Weekly Deaths: 6
A nurse treating COVID patients on USNS Comfort in April.

A nurse treating COVID patients on USNS Comfort in April.Photo credit: U.S. Navy

March 9, 2020

The Episcopal Diocese in Washington DC takes public health precautions, draining baptismal fonts and suspending communion wine.

  • Weekly Cases: 1,136
  • Weekly Deaths: 8

March 11, 2020

The World Health Organization declares a pandemic.

  • Weekly Cases: 7,962
  • Weekly Deaths: 127

Churches have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for more than two years. Whereas some congregations have struggled to navigate the challenges and uncertainty this public health crisis has brought, others have adapted and continue their ministry in the world in new ways. Even as the world moves closer to a period in which the virus may become endemic, the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on congregational life will take years to unfold. Subscribe to our newsletter to follow our project and stay up-to-date with the latest findings.