A Moment for Mission
“So now you are no longer strangers. … You are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household … with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.” — Ephesians 2:19-20, CEB
In November 2020, the World Council of Churches hosted a webinar, open to the public, highlighting experiences and reflections of people on the front lines of caring for communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar, the third in a series related to COVID-19, included both firsthand and learned perspectives from a medical doctor, who is also a clergyperson and a COVID-19 survivor. A public sanitation worker and a humanitarian responder also spoke.
The World Health Organization reported late last year that 14 percent of the people who had died of COVID-19 were health-care workers. Adding other categories of front-line and essential workers, that figure rose to more than 20 percent.
“Although they risk their lives and, at times, their families by showing up physically to their workplace to deliver essential services to the population, their needs are not a priority in many contexts,” said Joy Eva Bohol, WCC program executive for youth engagement.
Often these front-line workers had limited access to personal protective equipment, even as they faced growing discrimination due to their direct interaction with people who had COVID-19.
Featured speakers shared “their challenges prior [to] and during the pandemic; their key learnings, insights and practices; and their message of hope for the churches today, as well as toward the post-pandemic, calling faith communities across the world on how we can learn to better respond to the crisis,” said Bohol.
United Methodists support the WCC’s work through the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund.
Adapted from “’People at the Front Lines’ Webinar to Highlight Experiences of Those Who Care for All,” World Council of Churches website
Loving God, we are grateful that we are no longer strangers. As fellow citizens with God’s people, show us how best to reach out in love and compassion. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Eighth Sunday after Pentecost — Holy God, you love us so deeply that you pursue us relentlessly. You sent your son Jesus into the world that we who were far off would be brought near to you by his blood. We offer our gifts to you, knowing we can never out give you, never balance the equation. You don’t desire balance, no quid-pro-quo, only that we find the peace you desire for us, whose foundation is in your word and whose cornerstone is Christ alone. In that holy name, we pray. Amen. (Ephesians 2:11-22)
As COVID-19 temporarily shut down houses of worship, schools and community agencies, people discovered new ways to work together to provide essential services such as food for children restricted to online classrooms at home. United Methodists cooperated with people of many religious beliefs to respond to such critical needs.
That somewhat simplistic example illustrates the importance of United Methodism’s Interdenominational Cooperation Fund. Through this fund, United Methodists participate in the vital work of the World Council of Churches, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and Churches Uniting in Christ.
“The United Methodist Church strives toward greater Christian unity through its participation in councils of churches and/or covenantal relationships,” says The Book of Discipline 2016 (Par. 434). “The United Methodist Church may establish covenants with other Christian churches through bilateral or multilateral efforts.”
Through the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, United Methodists extend their reach at home and around the world. Thank you!