THE LIVING ROOM – As the Dobson family sits through a Zoom stream of their weekly church service, children Max, Ashley, and Timothy report being robbed of even their usual fantasy of finishing church and getting to return home.
“It’s so much worse,” reports Max, 12, of having to sit quietly and still on his family’s sofa as if it were a regular church pew. “My Nintendo Switch is sitting right across the room, taunting me. I could be playing it right now, instead of listening to this sermon about how Jesus would have worn a protective mask.”
Prior to pandemic lockdowns, research shows the most popular activity among church going children was to actively fantasize about how nice it would be to leave church and go home – a fantasy that has been rendered utterly moot with the introduction of streaming online at-home religious services.
Adding to the discomfort, online services are at least 30 minutes longer, due to the difficulties Rev. MacLeavy routinely has getting the Zoom call to work. “Plus Mom keeps offering us Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits as the eucharist,” explained a visibly grossed-out Max.
The service then stopped to direct all of the viewers to the church’s PayPal, to send along money for collection.
“I only used to last through church by imagining all the fun I’d get to have after church,” recalled Ashley, 7. “Rushing home and then going to play with my friends, which good luck nowadays. Maybe I’d even imagine us getting to go to Dairy Queen after church, which is also a no-go these days.”
“Now I’m just alone with my thoughts. And Church,” sighed Ashley as was cajoled to join an out-of-sync hymnal.
Reportedly, most of the Dobson’s fellow parishioners have been allowed to enjoy their Sundays since the suspension of in-person church services. However, the Dobson children report being forced to sit quietly on their own living room sofa, at 9am every Sunday morning, since mid-March. To add insult to injury, their parents, Cherie and George Dobson, have continued to enforce their usual Sunday morning dress code despite never leaving the house.
“Why do I even have to put on a nice dress? The Zoom call is only one-way. They can’t even see us,” added a visibly uncomfortable and pig-tailed Ashley.
Attending church at home has also ruined any plans that Timothy, 8, had to escape to the basement washroom during church. “That would usually eat up a good 10 minutes,” reported Timothy, “but here at home the bathroom is just over there. Stupid online church.”
At press time, despite the service ending Rev. MacLeavy is asking if parishioners would like to stick around with him on the Zoom call and play Jackbox games.