The World Council of Churches (WCC) is offering member churches some resources with a human face during the COVID-19 pandemic. A team of eight resource people has been made available to consult on how churches can discern their roles during the coronavirus pandemic, how they can adapt as faith communities, and how they can connect and share with each other.
These are faces not only of expertise but of Christian accompaniment, said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC deputy general secretary for the WCC programme on Ecumenical Formation and Bossey Ecumenical Institute.
“We offer this help as part of the global support we are now all giving to each other as we go through, mutually, an extremely challenging time,” said Sauca. “Collectively, they come from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds, and we hope that member churches’ encounters with them enable you to help others in turn.”
The eight people are:
Rev. Dr Nyambura J. Njoroge, with experience in building health-competent faith communities, as well as responding to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
Dr Manoj Kurian, who has been a WCC spokesperson on medical and public health issues, as well as health and healing from the context of faith.
Rev. Nicole Ashwood, who can advise on how to address issues related to sexual and gender-based violence and for interconnecting women and men’s networks, including updates from UN Women.
Dr Mwai Makoka, who concentrates on medical and public health issues, as well as Christian health networks and linkages with WHO.
Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, who can advise on questions of how different churches are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, how to make connections between and among churches, and how to offer general counselling or pastoral care.
Joy Eva Bohol can advise on accompaniment of young people in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, on self-care and mental health in dealing with isolation, especially for young people living alone, and facilitate safe space conversations among young people to address issues of isolation, anxiety for the future, or being away from family.
Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, who can share insights on ecumenical prayer and spirituality, as well as the sourcing and sharing of songs and prayers that encompass the spiritual expressions found within and among churches around the world.
Frederique Seidel can advise on resources and experiences related to the challenges faced by children, youth, educators and teachers in the COVID-19 pandemic.