empty church benches

Today, thinking about the relationship between pandemic and Koinonia in a socio-theological perspective is a great challenge. For many people of faith, some of these questions would be possible: can we be in solidarity if we have to remain distant? Could it be that physical isolation points to the need for an individual-vertical relationship with God opposing the commitment to “coexistence” between sisters/brothers? Is God saying that it is not important to be together to worship Him?

I take this opportunity to reflect from my experience of faith as a young Cuban woman on the implications that the COVID-19 has brought to the way of understanding myself and being church. In this sense, in front of, apparently, a common scenario that humanity is going through, I understand that there are individuals more vulnerable than others due to their health and social conditions, skin color, sexual orientation, physical disability, etc. Being a "church-community" at this time implies for me to be more attentive to the clamor of those people who lack rights and opportunities as a result of the hegemonic and unjust systems in which we were already living and now they pretend to stress their influence under the present critical conditions. Living in "solidarity" is possible if we do not reproduce speeches in plural that do not recognize the urgency of transforming the realities of injustices of some, so that we can all live together harmoniously in the common home in which God has placed us.

In this time in which the care of one's own life and that of others is an imperative, and for this it is necessary to follow the measures of physical distancing, avoid massive activities, etc.; our “church-community” has been kept in communion through creativity, solidarity, faith, hope and with renewed strengths has expanded beyond the walls of the temple. Virtual spaces have kept us connected to tell and listen to life stories, to pray for each other, to create networks and alliances with other organizations, churches, sisters and brothers inside and outside the country. Likewise, various outreach actions have made the "church-community" a witness to God´s Shalom and justice in the midst of the crisis. Taking care of oneself does not mean alienating, forgetting, paralyzing.

God of Life, I ask you that in these difficult times marked by the global pandemic of COVID-19, we consciously live in Koinonia, that is, doing justice for our most vulnerable neighbors, and living the peace of Christ in the practice of care and solidarity. May it be so!

About the author :

Dianet de la C. Martínez Valdés has a University degree in Languages and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. Alumni of the Ecumenical Institute at Château de Bossey, she serves as the Chairperson of the Student Christian Movement of Cuba, and Latin American and the Caribbean Representative at the WSCF Executive Committee. After the last WCC Assembly in Bussan, she has been a member of the WCC “ECHOS” Commission on Youth. A Presbyterian-Reformed and at the moment the Responsible for the Music Ministry of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, a space that allows her to combine my formation in music and theology.


The impressions expressed in the blog posts are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.