Sharing our faith during tough times

Sharing our faith during tough times

A new study for small groups aims to help people process the experience of living through the Coronavirus.

In a time when a lot of people are feeling the stress and vulnerability that comes with a global pandemic, Victoria has entered its second phase of lockdown in an attempt to overcome the Coronavirus.

In this context, a study started by a small group in a Melbourne-based Uniting Church aims to provide people with a resource to outline how they are feeling during the experience.

John Bottomley is the study’s coordinator.

“We had commenced a Lenten study earlier this year.  After the first study, two women in the congregation said independently that it would be good to have an opportunity to share with other members about the recently announced lockdown.  I circulated this idea to our members and it was unanimously agreed, and two of us were given the responsibility to convene the first gathering, which we held on Zoom. 

“As part of that study, we put forward a list of topics that might form the framework for a study program.  At the first meeting, the list was modified, and members volunteered to work with me to plan each of the topics for the remaining four studies.”

The material became part of the final product’s first study.

Mr Bottomley admitted that the experience of living during a global pandemic has taken its toll.

“I am conscious I have a vulnerability to COVID-19 due to my age (72), and open-heart surgery in January this year,” he said.

“So I am careful about not taking on public events.  I am OK personally, although at times I feel a bit ragged!”

Still, he expressed some hope for the future, and hoped the study may contribute.

“We decided to share this study with the church and other groups that may be interested because we believe there is great benefit in sharing our faith during tough times,” he said.

“While the focus is on what governments are doing, and the media cycle seems preoccupied with ‘fixing’ the chaos that has been unleashed, we think there is a need for us to take a longer view of why we are in this difficult situation, and to work to find answers from a confessional understanding of our ideologies, politics and economics that may open the way to Christ’s promise of a new creation.”

“This is a very small step, and we are delighted Insights is able to bring the study to the attention of others and hopefully help us all to reimagine our lives for the future.”

To download the study, click here.

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