I want to invite you into a conversation.
In the midst of the current coronavirus crisis, many are beginning to wonder what life might look like afterwards. Might this be a chance to create a new normal? While this is likely to be a drawn out crisis, we can already start to play a vital role in shaping what happens next.
The story so far
In response to coronavirus, churches around the world have adapted quickly to serve their communities. With online services, food distribution networks, phone banks for the isolated and much more, we have been finding new ways to be a light in the darkness, to love our neighbours and care for the most vulnerable. Although our church buildings may be closed, the role of the church in wider society has never been more important. We’ve seen increasing numbers of people engage with church and heard stories of a rise in spiritual hunger.
Coronavirus has held up a mirror to our society, in the UK and globally, and revealed brokenness that was often previously ignored. As many are currently saying: ‘We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat.’ Globally, the lockdown has meant cramped living conditions, increasing debt, no access to (even digital) school lessons, and days without food.
But among the disorienting chaos and anxiety of this almost global lockdown, many are rediscovering the centrality of our connection with God, and with those around us. People are reaching out to God and to each other.
We are also glimpsing the benefits of living in harmony with God’s creation. People are hearing birdsong louder than before, they’re breathing cleaner air and realising just how important getting outdoors can be for our well-being. We are beginning to spot the potential of a better life on the other side of this, and both hope and imagination are beginning to rise.
What happens next
Archbishop Justin Welby highlighted in his Easter sermon: ‘After so much suffering, so much heroism from key workers and the NHS, we cannot be content to go back to what was before as if all is normal. There needs to be a resurrection of our common life.’
Together we can choose the part we will play as the church – locally, nationally and internationally. Amidst the grief and uncertainty, this really could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape society.
We now face an opportunity: how can we ‘build back better’, and what is the church’s role?
As the people of God, we can speak prophetically to our society, casting a vision for a way forward. To do this, we must first reflect on what God might want to reveal to us personally through how we are experiencing this crisis, and on where God might be extending an invitation for us to join in with his work.
We want to invite you both into this conversation and into this time of prayer.
Join us as we listen for God’s guidance and intercede for an economic recovery that tackles climate change, protects the vulnerable and creates greater global solidarity.
We pray for all those living in poverty around the world, those without access to clean water to wash their hands or a safe place to isolate and call home. In the midst of this pandemic we cry out for you to calm the storm and heal the sick.
We thank you for churches all around the world who are serving their communities. Bless them with protection and give them energy, wisdom and strength.
As we look to the future and how the world might be, help each of us to play our part in seeing your kingdom come, the poor set free and creation well cared for. Give us each the wisdom to know our part, and the courage to call on our leaders to act.
In Jesus name we pray,
Join the conversation
We’ve just launched an animation and discussion guide to help you start a conversation with your family, your church and your community. Together you can explore how to play your part in shaping this big reboot of our society and economy.
So, have a read of the guide and then gather some people to begin the conversation - whether it’s a few friends on Zoom, your homegroup or those you’re isolating with! There’s also a short paper unpacking the topic in more detail too.
Start a conversation