With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic causing everyone to shelter in place by staying home except for essential tasks and keeping some businesses closed, some local organizations are adapting in several ways.
Like most houses of worship, Buckhead’s Christ Church of Atlanta is not allowing its parishioners and guests to attend services on site but is hosting them via live-streaming video so they can watch from home. But the church did bring one aspect of a regular in-person service to its Palm Sunday service April 5.
Christ Church, which holds its services at Atlanta International School in Buckhead, had its members and guests drive to property it owns on Howell Mill Road in Buckhead, where they could, one by one to follow social distancing rules, pick up palm crosses that are normally handed out at that service. The church plans to relocate to that land one day.
“I think during the season where we haven’t been able to see one another face to face, it’s a great way to stay connected,” said the Rev. Chase Campbell, the church’s associate rector, who lives in a house on the Howell Mill property. “(The members) were thrilled they could pick them up.
“One of our members, Iverson Cook, said, ‘I’ve collected a palm cross for at least 12 years, every year since I’ve been an Anglican, and I’m so happy you did this.’ It’s really meaningful to our congregation. On top of that, we were hanging out on our front porch of our property but were still able to remain a safe distance away. So it was a nice community event.”
Campbell said his daughter Lydia made about 150 crosses to be picked up by members.
“I think we had about 60 people pick up crosses, which is just under about half of our members,” he said. “That makes sense since about two thirds live in (Buckhead) and the rest live outside Buckhead. Everyone who lives in a three- to five-mile radius who was not much at risk came out to pick up crosses.”
Campbell said live-streaming Christ Church’s services via social media has spread its message to a broader audience than normal.
“People who have never been to our church are watching our services,” he said. “I have friends who aren’t Christian but checked out the service on social media. It’s a little silver lining around this great cloud right now.”
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead has launched a new online initiative, the Corona Collective, to help residents document events related to the virus outbreak. It is asking the public to participate by visiting www.atlantahistorycenter.com/research/corona-collective and submitting digital video, audio, photography and typed stories or personal reflections.
Residents can also ask questions through that webpage. For more information on what one might consider contributing, view this blog post from Collections Manager Erica Hague by visiting www.atlantahistorycenter.com/blog/coronavirus-collective.
Like many other organizations, the Boy Scouts have opted to hold their meetings virtually amid the virus crisis. Troop 463, based at Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, is hosting weekly videoconferences instead of in-person meetings.
Like the regular meetings, the virtual ones serve as a way to teach scouting skills, build camaraderie, earn merit badges and to stay aware of any members that may be in need.
Buckhead Business Association
The Buckhead Business Association, which normally meets in person most Thursdays at 7:30 a.m., announced it is holding virtual meetings, titled “The Second Cup,” each Thursday at 10 a.m. Like the regular meetings, each virtual one will include a guest speaker.
Registration is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Members who preregister by Wednesday have an opportunity to introduce their business at the beginning of the program.
For the April 9 meeting, lawyer Lawton Jordan will speak about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program that offers loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Thanks to a sponsorship from The Matt Thiry Law Firm, admission to that meeting is free for both members and nonmembers.
For more information, visit www.buckheadbusiness.org.
ATL Museums at Home
Eleven local museums – nine in Fulton County and two in DeKalb County – are closed due to virus-related health concerns. But they have united to form ATL Museums at Home, an online resource where anyone, including educators, can go to take virtual tours of each facility for free.
The participating museums are Buckhead’s Atlanta History Center, DeKalb’s Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University and Fernbank Museum, 3D Theater and Forest, Downtown’s Children's Museum of Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, Georgia Aquarium and National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Grant Park’s Zoo Atlanta and Midtown’s Atlanta Botanical Garden and Breman Museum and High Museum of Art.
They are hosting Field Trip Fridays, in which new tours are posted online weekly 10 a.m. The tours include looks behind the scenes at each museum.
For more information, visit www.atlmuseumsathome.org.
With more residents staying at home due to the governor’s shelter-in-place order, the Atlanta Bridge Center and the American Contact Bridge League are seeing an increase in interest in the card game.
Bridge Base, which provides online bridge games, has witnessed a rise in daily users from an average of 10,000 to more than 40,000. As such, bridge teachers across the nation are finding a resurgence in interest in learning the complex game of duplicate bridge.
In fact, Atlanta-area teacher Patty Tucker has spent her time in quarantine offering bridge lessons to children and newer players for free through her Bridge with Patty Facebook (https://bit.ly/3c4QrcE) and YouTube (https://bit.ly/2yN3Zv1) channels. Also, the league has gotten a higher rate of memberships in the past month as more individuals seek to play the game online.
For more information, visit www.atlantaduplicatebridgeclub.com.
Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber
The Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber, which normally hosts several different in-person monthly meetings, is hosting two free monthly virtual meetings: Networking & Nespressos and Beers with Peers – Young Professionals’ Virtual Happy Hour.
Networking & Nespressos, an online spinoff of the chamber’s in-person Coffee & Contacts networking event, will take place April 10 from 10 to 10:40 a.m. In partnership with the Dunwoody Perimeter Chamber, the meeting will give participants a chance to network and learn more about fellow attendees and how their businesses may best complement each other.
Preregistration is required. For more information or to register, visit https://bit.ly/2wuCDJi.
Beers with Peers, for professionals 40 and under, is set for April 16 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. “After working from home for weeks, we deserve some socialization and an adult beverage,” the chamber’s website stated. The event will include interactive networking and prompted topics.
Preregistration is required. For more information or to register, visit https://bit.ly/2UTglKD.