2020 Summer Bonus Session
in the Time
Below you will find a variety of input and activities for you to engage with around the topic of the church and COVID-19. Choose the items that appeal to you, that spark your curiosity, and maybe even one that feels like a bit of a stretch. These resources are intended for people of all ages. Those specifically chosen with children in mind are marked with an asterisk*.
Items are listed in four categories:
- Head: Readings and videos to help us learn about the topic
- Hands: Activities to engage with the topic
- Heart: Opportunities to reach out to others–within the church and beyond
- Spirit: Spiritual practices to help you connect more deeply with God
Please feel free to share your reflections and additional resources in the comments below.
things to think about
“The Most Precious of All“
an article by Mennonite pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler
“Bearing the Responsibility of Re-Opening”
an article by MC USA Executive Director Glen Guyton
Thoughts from a comparitive immunologist on the risks of COVID-19. (Thanks to Doug for sharing.)
“Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test.” This is the article Thomas and Tara shared about a doctor in British Columbia.
“Church in these VUCA Times“
a video from Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church
*”Kids Explain the Coronavirus” video from The Atlantic
An article about Latin American churches working with migrants and refugees during this crisis.
“A no-win situation“–article about racial disparity and COVID-19
“Climate change and coronavirus” an article from the BBC
Read about how “Mennonite Agencies Collaborate on COVID-19 response.“
An article encouraging us to “Rethink: Don’t Return to Normal.“
And some practical ideas about “How to Combat Zoom Fatigue.“
ways to reach out
Watch this video or *this one about the work of Mennonite Central Committee during COVID-19. Consider donating money or *sending a card of encouragement to:
MCC Central States
PO Box 235
North Newton, KS 67117
Pen Pal Prompt: Write to your pen pal about something you really miss during this time and something that is good during this time.
If you would like to have a pen pal from church for this three-month exploration of “Being Church,” please contact Joanna. Let her know whether you prefer snail mail or email and she’ll let you know who to write!
Talk with a friend or relative that goes to a different church and ask them about how they are dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Share something interesting you learn in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Just Food is doing good work to help people in our community. Check out their web site where you can donate money, volunteer to help, or find their address to *send them a card of thanks and encouragement.
things to do
*Use sidewalk chalk to draw a nice picture and/or write encouraging words for your neighbors.
Create a written, visual, or musical piece that expresses some aspect of what it means to you to be part of a church family. (If you’re interested in writing a poem, here are some different poetic forms to try.)
Text or email Pastor Joanna a picture of your “COVID Life”–whatever that means for you. (And let her know if it’s OK to use the photo in a worship slide show!) firstname.lastname@example.org
ways to connect with God
“Visit” the worship service of another church. You can find many services on Facebook, YouTube, and church web sites. A few suggestions:
- Rainbow Mennonite in Kansas City
- Southern Hills Mennonite Church in Topeka
- Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita (on Facebook)
- First Mennonite in Bluffton (Services are linked on the right side column.)
- Columbus Mennonite Church (Ohio)
- First Baptist Church in Lawrence
- 9th Street Missionary Baptist Church in Lawrence (on Facebook)
- First United Methodists Church in Lawrence
Offer this prayer for COVID-19 and add your own personal concerns.
Write a letter to God about your fears during this time. Then listen to Eastern Mennonite School virtual choir sing “Don’t be Afraid” as you offer those fears to God.
*Baby goats! A children’s time from Plains Mennonite Church.
“A Pastor’s Pandemic Diary“: an article by Mennonite pastor Isaac Villegas
Watch this Ecumenical memorial service for lives lost to COVID-19.
Here is a good Mennonite version of “We will Rise Again” from Doug and Jude Krehbiel. (Thanks to Judy Johnson for sharing on Facebook.)
Here is a free devotional book from MennoMedia with reflections on life in the shadow of COVID-19.