Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba
Posted on Apr 14, 2020
April 13 note from Stan Dotson: "Like the rest of the world, Cuba has implemented social distancing and stay-at-home measures, and various neighborhoods in which we are accustomed to visiting have been quarantined due to confirmed cases. Since we live at the Center, we are now its "staff," mainly offering the purified water to the community in the mornings. Meanwhile, Kim stays busy helping Wanda (Center Director) in making "nasobucos", face masks, for the community. Being the artist that she is, Wanda uses colorful material from old clothes, so people can be fashionable in wearing the masks! The demand for her nasobucos went up after she and Kim were featured in a local television spot for their service.
Hope Center at Pullen
Posted on Apr 12, 2020
"Our clients (the majority of whom have been laid-off or had hours significantly reduced) are currently waiting on unemployment checks. The surge in unemployment applications resulted in a backlog and we are hoping they will begin to experience some relief in the next two weeks. In addition, we are seeing some completely unexpected disruptions to housing. One young woman and her daughter who were set to move seamlessly into their new apartment on April 1 will now be moving to a hotel because the County’s new personnel policies make it impossible for the required inspection to occur in time for her April 1 move-in date."
Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Posted on Apr 11, 2020
"It feels as if we are living in a nightmare. Who could have envisioned such a global shutdown? The world has come to a total standstill. Airplanes are grounded, borders closed, and billions live under quarantine. Now, all we want is to stay alive. We've come to appreciate the little things: a loaf of bread, running water, and yes, toilet paper. It might seem that the coronavirus has the entire world in its grip.
Yet, we wake up each morning. The sun shines. Air fills our lungs. In these moments, we realize that He's got the whole world in His hands. You and me, we're all in his hands."
Holy Week Services
Posted on Apr 10, 2020
We have collected information about Holy Week services from a few of our congregational partners. If your congregation is not listed and you would like it added, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith and God in the Time of COVID-19
Posted on Apr 02, 2020
Sure, everyone’s a theologian. I get that. Yet not all theological statements are considered carefully. “I’m not worried. God will protect me,” said a well-meaning Christian this week about COVID-19. I was certain she made the comment because she knows Tonya and I are pastors, and to her it must have seemed like a profession of faith. I am notoriously bad at quick quips, so I said nothing. It was not the time and place for a theology lesson—we were there to feed school children after all.
Tips For Effective Virtual Worship
Posted on Apr 02, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, increasing numbers of churches are forced to adapt their
worship experiences amidst new social distancing, lockdown, and shelter-in-place orders. In the
face of this new normal, we have a rare opportunity to reimagine how we connect with each
other and create space for community.
Over the past several weeks, I have scoured the internet for resources and watched dozens of
livestreams and virtual worship services from across the country—some were far better than
others. I brought what I observed and learned through this process to my own church leaders, and
it has greatly transformed how we now engage in worship.
I offer these tips to create more effective and meaningful virtual worship in hopes that they may
spur the same creativity for your virtual worship that it has for ours. These recommendations
come solely from my own experiences, research, and observations.
Aliança de Batistas do Brasil/Alliance of Baptists of Brazil
Posted on Mar 29, 2020
Pastor Paulo Cesar Pereira, president of the Aliança writes on March 19: "Here in Brazil we already have 368 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the contamination curve is upward and will grow a lot. The public offices are almost all closed, the general orientation is that everyone stays in their homes.
We have suspended all the activities of the orchestra, they are at home and we still have no cases of contamination. In the church, activities, including services, are also suspended until March 29, 2020, then we will analyze whether the suspension will continue or not.
Supermarkets are still selling normally...there is guidance so that you don't buy more than necessary. Schools and universities are all suspended classes.
Here at home we are taking the necessary care, but Rosy and Yana who are doctors are still working. I am worried but without anxiety. We are in a voluntary quarantine. Leaving only when it is necessary. It is a time of recollection and reflection...Thank you for caring about us. Read more.
Andrew P. Stewart Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Posted on Mar 27, 2020
We are working to provide food and other resources to our neighbors...We are hearing from some of the residents in our houses (15 total houses) that they are worried about paying their rent and utilities for April. Several have been furloughed and others are worried they're going to lose their jobs...Gloves and masks are in-kind items that we could use as we continue to engage our neighbors with services. Read more.
Crossing Lines Africa
Posted on Mar 27, 2020
From Philip Kakungulu (center in photo) of Crossing Lines Africa: "I am a member in several Africa social media groups and pastoral leadership fellowships here. The underlying message toward COVID-19 has been one of denial, which is going to cost lives as it did in South Africa during the HIV AIDS pandemic...Yesterday the president publicly mentioned that God has spared Uganda because the government and church leaders stood against homosexuality. This is justifying the use of violence by the church, and many have mentioned that the coronavirus is a disease for homosexuals...The economy right now in Uganda is a nightmare; people will die of COVID-19, hunger, utter neglect and civil violence. What our government has done and hasn’t done is so frustrating. I am crying for the innocent children and peasants in the villages who have very little or no actual scientific education about COVID-19. While our borders have been open on all fronts till now, in the capital city, Kampala, and nearby towns the panic is growing. The government is not offering state sponsored quarantine or testing whatsoever! Why would we allow this to happen? Read more.
Eglise Evangelique au Maroc [EEAM]/Protestant Church of Morocco
Posted on Mar 25, 2020
Along with her work as an interfaith chaplain, Karen Thomas Smith is a part of the Protestant Church of Morocco, and she has written updates on the congregations and the people they serve in this predominantly Muslim nation.