Mennonite Church Canada pandemic resources

On March 11, 2020, the World Heath Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a pandemic in order to encourage governments to ramp up efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

As of June 30, 2020, the number of confirmed cases in Canada is 104,204. The Public Health Agency of Canada describes the risk to public health as high, and is continually reassessing the situation as more cases are reported.

Below are resources for how congregations can respond to and live through pandemics as communities of faith. This page is regularly updated with resources from our regional churches and from CommonWord. If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail our communications officer at kdsawatzky@mennonitechurch.ca.

Pastoring at a distance - The Adaptive Church Webinar Series

At a time when many of us feel the need for increased levels of spiritual support, pastors and congregations are no longer able to practice traditional forms of face-to-face pastoral care due to COVID-19. How can we be present to each other spiritually when we are physically distant? How might we provide spiritual accompaniment for those experiencing fear, anxiety, grief, and death? MennoMedia’s Leader magazine hosts a panel discussion with Anabaptist pastors and church leaders to unpack practical advice as well as theological considerations for providing pastoral care while practicing social distancing.

God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath Paperback by N.T. Wright

N. T. Wright examines reactions to the coronavirus and finds them wanting. Instead, he shows that a careful reading of the Bible and Christian history offers simple though profound answers to our many questions, including:

  • What should be the Christian response?
  • How should we think about God?
  • How do we live in the present?
  • Why should we lament?
  • What should we learn about ourselves?
  • How do we recover?

Written by one of the world's foremost New Testament scholars, God and the Pandemic will serve as your guide to read the events of today through the light of Jesus' death and resurrection.

 

Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Anxiety by Walter Brueggemann

Why bother with the interpretive categories of biblical faith when in fact our energy and interest are focused on more immediate matters? This answer is simple and obvious. We linger because, in the midst of our immediate preoccupation with our felt jeopardy and our hope for relief, our imagination does indeed range beyond the immediate to larger, deeper wonderments. Our free-ranging imagination is not finally or fully contained in the immediacy of our stress, anxiety, and jeopardy. Beyond these demanding immediacies, we have a deep sense that our life is not fully contained in the cause-and-effect reasoning of the Enlightenment that seeks to explain and control. There is more than that and other than that to our life in God's world!

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