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Webinar to inspire churches’ ministry online during a pandemic

Webinar to inspire churches’ ministry online during a pandemic

Easter Sunday sunrise service on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, held by the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2019

28 April 2020

A webinar on churches’ ministry online will bring inspiration and knowledge to churches who want to develop their online ministry, discovering how we continue to pray and worship together in times of pandemic.

The webinar, organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and its ecumenical partners, will take place 29 April at 15.00 CET, and will explore the new challenges and opportunities for churches, sharing the good practices from the fellowship.

When public gatherings should be avoided and physical distancing is required for the sake of people’s health and lives, churches around the world need to continue their ministry, adapting to the new settings. How to continue being the church when the church has left its building is one of the key issues to be explored in the webinar.

Speakers will include pastors, communication experts and researchers from around the world who will share their expertise and practices of the online ministry. Keynote speaker of the webinar will be Dr Heidi A. Campbell, professor of Communication at Texas A&M University and director of the Network of New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies. Campbell will share insights from her research on the topic and the recent publication, “The Distanced Church: Doing Church Online in a time of Pandemic.”

Other speakers of the webinar include Rev. Jonggoo Kim, senior pastor of Seshin Methodist Church in Seoul, South Korea; Rev. Ralf Peter Reimann, pastor and internet commissioner of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany; Rev. Dr Nicolas Kazarian, head of the ecumenical department of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Ingeborg Dybvig, communications director, Church of Norway.

The webinar will be at livestreamed at www.oikoumene.org/live and questions from the audience will be welcomed. A video recording will be available on WCC YouTube channel afterwards. The webinar will be moderated by Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life.

WCC communication officer Ivars Kupcis, who has been coordinating the webinar, said it is exciting to hear the speakers’ insights and practices that have led to successful online ministry, often reaching even more people than usual.

“As churches have had to adapt quickly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have proven that genuine connection between people matters even more now when physical church buildings are not accessible,” said Kupcis, adding that he hopes the webinar will inspire more churches to create meaningful online services and creative ministry practices that could be sustained even beyond the pandemic.

The webinar is organized by the World Council of Churches in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation, World Communion of Reformed Churches, Global Christian Forum, World Association for Christian Communication and European Christian Internet Conference.

Taking your ministry online: Webinar, new publication will give solid “how-to’s” (WCC press release 22 April 2020)

Learn more about the webinar on Churches' ministry online