Who is my neighbour?
A report from our 23 April online discussions on what it means to be church on the margins during the pandemic.
Who is my neighbour – a walkable parish
(reflection by Chris Lawrence in New York)
How are people staying connected/helping (low-tech)?
- Notes through doors, phone calls, WhatsApp groups where possible.
- Church leaflets/services/prayers through letterboxes
- URC church sending out letters (?)
- Toy, book and food boxes on streets
- Communities that had existing networks are managing to keep in touch with people, communities/churches that did not have contact details for people are struggling to reach people.
- Making masks and scrubs
- Pastoral ministry from home
- Safe contact, e.g. distanced conversations
- Shopping for people
- Street art, banners, chalk on pavements
Isolation – trigger for mental health problems
What will you do differently after this?
- Street party
- Affordable rent
- Eat and pray together (rule of life)
- Make the church a community hub
- Do church differently
- The church building does not matter, we need to be engaged in the community / change how we do church. … Being with people, being present where people are, was how Jesus worked.
- Responding to priorities will, in turn, re-shape the church.
- Were our ways of doing church before completely wrong?
- We need to do church differently, and plan for this now.
- Economics – the situation is going to be difficult after this.
- Racial justice – BME more affected by COVID 19
- Grassmarket church – developing friendship pantry.
- Would communities notice if the church left? Are churches integrated into communities?
- Will fractured communities be more whole after this?