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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?
Research and Information Officer

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