Instead of being a great leveller, the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing pre-existing systemic inequalities that benefit some and disadvantage others. How can the Anabaptist family respond?
Mennonite World Conference has invited Anabaptist mission and service agencies to coordinate their financial response to COVID-19 hardships experienced especially by under-resourced member churches around the world.
How to donate to MWC's COVID-19 response
How to apply for COVID-19 Global Church Sharing Fund
When stay-at-home guidelines are eased and church doors and sanctuaries reopen, worship and church ministries will, undoubtedly, look different than before the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. And so it should – so that we continue to keep ourselves and our faith communities safe and healthy.
But that means pastors and church leaders should prepare for what the “next normal” will be for the congregation and its ministry. The following are some things to consider before inviting congregants back into the (physical) pews.
The world appears to be without hope. But an answer for humanity today is waiting within the pages of the Bible.
This is a profoundly challenging time for all of us around the globe. The corona virus has struck many of us and our communities, and will continue to do so. In times of such adversity we wish so much to gather, to pray together, to plead with one voice for healing and hope. And we want to reach out in person to those who are suffering – embracing them with hugs, food, and personal visits. That is how we are used to showing God’s love.
“Let us join our brothers and sisters in Christ across communions by joining our prayers with theirs in solidarity and faith in Jesus,” says Mennonite World Conference general secretary César García.
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) unsettling the global human family, Mennonite World Conference leaders put confidence in the living God who says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10).
We are mindful of the many persons – doctors, nurses, family members, friends – who are caring for those who are suffering from this contagious illness. We give thanks for their self-giving, and pray for their safety and on-going energy. May the Risen One be there at the bed side, in the hospital, along with them.
We are also mindful of those many within our global family for whom physical distancing is impossible. We pray for God’s gracious protection.
May this global crisis draw us closer to God and closer to each other. May we find ways to show and witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ. And may we have the courage to be the Body of the Risen One in this hour of our world’s suffering.
Mennonite World Conference calls for Anabaptist and Mennonite congregations around the world to unite in prayer and to exercise precautionary measures in the church. Pray for people who are isolated, afraid or ill, especially in Wuhan, Hubei Province and mainland China. Pray for wisdom for Chinese government and health authorities working to contain the outbreak, and for courage, compassion and safety for healthcare workers who work tirelessly to save lives. Also pray for wisdom for all governments and health authorities working to prevent the spread of the virus. May they act with compassion and caution.