The global coronavirus pandemic, which has brought death to hundreds of thousands, serious illness to millions more, and financial hardship to the whole world, also poses profound spiritual questions and real challenges to Christians everywhere.
The pandemic itself has become a fundamental test of faith in God and God’s providence, and it invites Christians to earnest re-examination of their relationship to God, each other, and the natural world, say authors of a new spiritual resource from the World Council of Churches (WCC).
The World Council of Churches is an ecumenical partner supported by the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund apportionment, which enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations.
In Healing the World: Bible Studies for the Pandemic Era, the WCC offers eight Bible studies to facilitate coming to terms—as individuals, groups, and communities of faith—with the loss, fear, and confusion engendered by the pandemic, and the bracing prospect of building the world anew.
It is hoped, too, that these encounters with the Word of God can stimulate the spiritual and theological reflection, open-ended discussion, and ecclesial engagement necessitated by the many-faceted catastrophe, its economic consequences, and the many interconnected questions of social justice.
The Bible studies, which can be used singly or in sequence, draw on the expertise and wisdom of ecumenical Christians from a variety of regions, confessions, and areas of expertise. They journey through key episodes in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to ponder not only the meaning of the particular passages in their original contexts but also in our own and the opportunities they present to formulate authentic responses to the crisis and our changed lives. Each study concludes with questions, suggestions for activities, other resources, and a prayer.
World Council of Churches website
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund apportionment at 100 percent.