Friday, 07 August 2020

COVID-19 and the Multicultural Church

Written by Rev Dr Apwee Ting

The Assembly Resourcing Unit held its second webinar on the Church and Covid-19: Ministerial Practices on 30 July 2020.

The webinar organised with the Being a Multicultural Church Circle explored the topic “Church Post-Covid-19: Ministerial Practices and Learning from Overseas Churches”.

The Convener of Being A Multicultural Church Circle, Rev. Dr Matagi Vilitama, chaired an eight-member panel.

Rev. Dr Vilitama noted that the pandemic had especially challenged ministerial practices, pastoral care, worship and outreach in CALD communities, but had seen younger people step up.

“Face to face conversations, especially with vulnerable people, is a challenge. On the one hand we need to keep them safe from the virus and on the other hand we need to care for them especially since isolation compounds matters and mental health becomes a major issue”.

“The next generation are considered the most tech savvy in our communities. For some time now, leaders and parents have expressed concern that our young people spend too much time in front of a screen. With COVID-19 restrictions, we are obliged to spend more time in front of a screen. Congregations and faith communities who have allowed their young people to take the lead have been inspired by their achievements”.

Other panellists were: Rev. Karen Ross, Rev Valamotu Palu, Rev Alexandra Sangster, Samuel Miao, Rev. Dr Seforosa Carroll, Rev James Bhagwan, Rev. Enshuo Zhu and Rev. Dr Ji Zhang.

The webinar prompted deep thinking and reflection.

Some of the emerging questions you might like to share in further conversation are:

  • How have we been able to care for our people?
  • How can we change and yet remain true to who we are as the people of God who care for each other and worship together?
  • How could the next generation get involved in the leadership of the church with their new ideas without alienating the older people who hold the traditional ways close to their heart?
  • What should we learn from our current experiences to take with us into the future?

Watch the whole webinar on the Uniting Church in Australia Vimeo channel.