An appeal to solidarity with community in difficult situations
Thursday 19 March 2020
Greetings in the love of Christ!
In the midst of the CoVID-19 outbreak which has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic, we are reminded of the fragility of our mortal bodies against disease. We are being challenged to appreciate and care for the life God has given. Together we are trying to prevent the spread by practicing the advice given by the government including social distancing, limiting or stopping the need to travel, and isolating ourselves at home if we are feeling unwell.
Noting the government’s actions during this time, we appeal to the wider Church:
As a fellowship of believers, we are called to multiply. This may mean coming into contact with other believers at home or at church. In our current situation we carry the responsibility to help stop the spread of CoVID-19. In this light, we urge Church leaders to develop forms of worship that can reach people in their homes.
This may be through social media or other digital technologies; so that members may continue to worshiping from their homes. We must be able to observe worship as it carries no less value than doing so in a church, especially in the midst of the real problems we are facing right now.
We can use this period of isolation to practice our fellowship in the form of talking together, joking together and praying with all members of our respective families. This is a precious moment for all of us to enjoy our family time that has become increasingly scarce. We can strengthen our family values through this rare moment. Remember: family is the core of society; God also greets us through family.
We are all carrying a heavy burden, but church servants should still be able to carry out their duties in guiding the people especially those who are exposed to diseases. At times like this, there is greater importance on the duty of our brothers and sisters to assist and strengthen the people facing the current situation.
This also includes easing sentiments against those infected with CoVID-19. May you keep the spirit of serving the people and not be afraid to face the facts, but stay alert and maintain your own health.
Finally, let us spread love and care for others during this pandemic!
I remind you that as long as we are with God, we will be able to overcome any situation together.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
God Bless all of us abundantly,
Rev Thresi Mauboy Wohangara.
Moderator of Northern Synod
(Written by Dr. Diedre Palmer, President Uniting Church in Australia)
Loving and compassionate God,
You call us to love our neighbours and to be bearers of your hope and grace in our world.
Expand our hearts and vision to respond with compassion to those around us, who are struggling in this time of uncertainty, anxiety, grief and suffering.
Give wisdom and strength to our health workers, and government officials, as they provide leadership in bringing our country through this crisis.
We bring before you and into our hearts and minds:
• Those whose work and income are uncertain
• Those who are isolated
• Those who are fearful of an unknown future
• Those who live in situations of domestic violence, and whose isolation increases the control of their violent partners
• Those who are homeless, and all those who offer them support and care
• Those who are involved in aged care – our agency leaders, staff and residents and their loved ones
• Businesses whose futures are uncertain – their leaders and staff
• School staff and students
• Those with health conditions that put them at greater risk
Give wisdom and care-filled discernment to all our Church leaders – our Councils, and local congregations, as we seek to creatively live out our worship, witness and service in ways that offer Christ’s life-giving love and presence.
Strengthen and sustain us to be your people – shaped by your abundant grace, bearers of your generosity and overflowing love.
Through Christ our Light and Hope, we pray,