Tens of thousands of people gather in Anaheim’s Angel Stadium every August for the Harvest Crusade, a weekend-long evangelistic event featuring Christian music artists and special guests. But this year, amid a global pandemic, the stadium event will be different. Instead of a stadium event, Religion News Service reports that Harvest Ministries will stream a film titled “A Rush of Hope”.
Religion News Service also interviewed Richard Flory, senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, on the event’s transition to a cinematic experience, and how it reflects drastic changes other churches have had to make amid COVID-19.
Here is an excerpt:
To Richard Flory, senior director of research and evaluation at the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture, this is “just another example of what most churches are doing,” as they’re unable to meet in person.
Flory said it will be a big shift for those who make it tradition in the summer to attend Harvest Crusade.
“It ends up being a hole in their social life and probably their spiritual life as well,” he said.
“Mass events are important for any religious group, and this actually cuts across religious groups … in that you feel that sort of oneness, more or less, of likeminded people,” Flory said.
“It’s this shared emotion that happens,” he added.