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Congregation chronicles COVID-19 in pictures


Georgia church creates ‘Porch Pictures’ document history

By Donna Frischknecht Jackson | Presbyterians Today

Bob and Deb Radabaugh and their dogs, Ginger and Cotton, are just one of the many families featured in Trinity Presbyterian’s “Porch Pictures” book. Anghaarad Teague Dees

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Presbyterians researched their church histories in hopes of discovering how congregations responded to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Some were dismayed, though, to find that there was little to no mention of the flu in session minutes. Trinity Presbyterian Church, however, is making sure history doesn’t forget its response to the current pandemic. The Valdosta, Georgia, congregation has created a photobook called “Porch Pictures.” Featuring photos of members sitting in front of their homes, the book commemorates the unique time when being a faith family was redefined, says the Rev. Anghaarad Teague Dees.

The photobook idea began in a Zoom meeting when the conversation turned from the logistics of reopening the church to how to preserve this moment in time, says Dees. Then one day, while in the church’s library, the pastor spotted a 9/11 scrapbook, filled with the congregation’s reactions to the Twin Towers attack 19 years ago. “I knew then we had to do something to remember this crisis,” said Dees. With the help of her church administrator, members’ pictures were shot from a prescribed safe distance. A photo printing and sharing website was then used to create the book. Two were ordered for the church’s library. The congregation was invited to purchase their own. The money from the sales of the book, which is also filled with drawings, reflections and poetry from Trinity members, was used to replenish the church’s food pantry, says Dees.

Donna Frischknecht Jackson is editor of Presbyterians Today.

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