Religious leaders establish online presence to reach worshipers

On this West Virginia morning, we explore how to stay connected to one’s faith while places of worship are closed. We also offer you a few moments of Zen, courtesy of the West Virginia Botanic Garden, and we listen to the song of the week Mountain Stage of the week.

If you were raised in Morgantown or went to UVA in the 1970s, you probably remember going to swim with friends at the reservoir that used to be the city’s water supply. Today, the site is home to the West Virginia Botanic Garden, an 85-acre non-profit nature reserve. West Virginians can still go out during the coronavirus pandemic, while practicing appropriate social distancing. Lead producer John Nakashima recently spent some time at the Botanical Garden and brings us this audio postcard.

In times of unrest, people often seek comfort in places of worship, but these places are now inaccessible, due to the demands of social distancing. In this weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear from two religious leaders who offer online services following the coronavirus: Pastor David Johnston of Concord United Methodist Church in Athens, and Rabbi Victor Urecki, from the B’nai Jacob Synagogue in Charleston.

San Francisco band leader and fellow rocker Chuck Prophet performed songs from his album Let Freedom Ring, recorded, coincidentally, at the start of the H1N1 virus in Mexico City, Mexico in 2009. Prophet and his group wore their masks at studio, while undergoing the usual power outages in the region resulting in multiple lost sockets.

Here is Chuck Prophet who performs “Hot Talk” live on Mountain Stage as song of the week.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support from our press offices comes from the University of West Virginia, Concord University and Shepherd University.

Our Appalachia Health News project is made possible thanks to the support of CAMC and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with the help of Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Kara Lofton, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Eric Douglas, Corey Knollinger, Emily Allen and Roxy Todd. Brittany Patterson produces our show.

Our news director is Glynis Board. Our host is Teresa Wills.

Listen to West Virginia Morning on weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB radio, or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning

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