Monday, 13 July 2020

How must we change in order to continue?

Around 100 people across the Uniting Church participated in the first in a series of webinars looking at how COVID-19 has challenged and changed us as the church.

Presented by the Assembly Resourcing Unit and the Being a Multicultural Church Circle, the webinar on 9 July explored the topic “Church Post-Covid-19: Ecclesiological, Missiological, Historical and CALD Perspectives”. You can find the recording below. 

Assembly National Consultant Rev. Dr Apwee Ting, who chaired the six-member panel, explained that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, churches needed to adapt or evolve to be able to continue.

“COVID has challenged our understandings of gathered community, sacramental practices, how we do ministry and what makes us a church,” he said.

“We heard in the webinar that whether we accept it or not, our ecclesiology and missiology have changed. We need to be intentional in articulating a fresh understanding of church and mission that has evolved with the times, especially as a result of the pandemic.”

“This is not the first pandemic in the 2000-year history of the church. We can learn from previous pandemics. In the past, churches have responded with love, care and compassion, offering hope in the midst of suffering and loss.”

The six panellists were: Rev. Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, Simon Gomersall, Rev. Dr Jason Kioa, Tansy Chen, Rev. Thresi Mauboy and Rev. Dr Clive Pearson.

The webinar prompted deep thinking and reflection. Some of the emerging questions you might like to share in further conversation are:

  • Is the church going to see this pandemic as a short-term interruption where we seek to return quickly to how we were before COVID-19?
    Or a fundamental disruption that leads to a new understanding of its core identity?
  • What does ecclesiology look like in the current situation?
  • What are the non-essentials that we need to let go of and what are some of the new essentials that we need to pick-up?