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GAFCON: The Church in Action in Crisis

The Church in Action in Crisis
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20b

Anna Grace Bell
Ernie Didot and Juliane Uchoa
GAFCON
March 20, 2020

The church around the world is in action despite congregations not being able to meet together due to the vast spread of the Coronavirus or Covid-19.

Many churches around the world are taking the opportunity to be creative with technology and other means to share the Gospel and engage with their congregation and community. We are finding that many parishes and Provinces are learning from each other and adapting these ideas. Live-streaming, which has a steep learning curve, is only one means by which churches are using to adapt, so we have put together a dynamic, ongoing list of ideas from around the world so that you can see what others are doing.

We hope these are helpful and we welcome your suggestions and we will include as many as possible.

Brazil

Juliane Uchoa reports the following:

Here in Brazil, we are doing some actions to keep people of the Church "in touch".

Yesterday, Archbishop Miguel Uchoa did an Instagram live on the Church Instagram (@paespiedade). A lot of people participated, and they all responded well by asking questions in the comments. To start an Instagram Live video go here: https://help.instagram.com/126662934757177
++Miguel answered some questions, clarified some doubts and talked about all the actions we are taking at the moment:

1. Starting this Sunday (22nd March), we are going to have "Online Service" at 5 pm.

2. Starting today (20th March), we are going to have 'Daily Devotional' live on Instagram (@paespiedade) with our pastors doing the broadcasting in their homes. We named this as "Church in The Homes". People will connect and participate in devotional time together.

3. "Volunteers Network": We are putting the youth volunteers to help the older persons. We provide a WhatsApp number where the elderly people needing food or medication can ask for help;l then one of the volunteers will buy and deliver at this person's home.

4. "Small Business Webpage": we are publishing a special web page to supporting the members who have a small business. They can register/offer their services at this page, and our membership can look at and see what they need to buy from them. That way, we will help our brothers and sisters, the small business owners, during this hard time.

6. All face-to-face gatherings are cancelled. We are thinking about alternatives for each situation. The theological studies classes, for example, are going to be online starting next week.

7. "Solidarity Network": Anyone who has extra medications and needs for self-care, will be able to share it with people who don't have those things.

8. We are going to keep in touch with the membership through the socials media and Whatsapp groups.

UK and Europe

WhatsApp Groups for homegroups -- we have been using a WhatsApp group for the past few months for prayer requests and updates. It's proving very useful at this time.

On Sundays we are livestreaming the morning 'service' which includes a welcome, prayers, notices, bible reading and a sermon, this is the same for the evening service. Our vicar is also doing a short bible devotion on Wednesday evenings which is a lot more informal from his house. We have been livestreaming via Facebook and YouTube and embedding the Facebook link in the church's website. See the links here to get advice on how to use these platforms:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard_splash

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/587160588142067

Australia

Pray: The Diocese of Sydney have written specific prayers throughout this global crisis: https://sydneyanglicans.net/covid19prayers

Advice and helpful links: https://sydneyanglicans.net/covid19

North America

@JeffreyHWalton at Juicy Ecumenism reports here in his article, "A Great Cloud of Witnesses in the Cloud," some experiences from churches using these technologies.

Indian Ocean

Prayers and readings from Archbishop James Wong: https://www.gafcon.org/prayers-during-covid-19-crisis

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