How religious leaders are adapting to keep the faith as coronavirus cancels mass gatherings

first_imgiStock(NEW YORK) — As people around the world adjust their daily routines in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the new limits on social gatherings have impacted a societal norm that might have once seemed unwavering and untouchable: religious services.Faith leaders across the United States are now tasked with keeping their congregations connected and involved amid what can feel like a trying test of faith.“It’s a time of uncertainty and fear and people feel that it’s an opportunity to realize that God does not abandon us in these times, he walks with us,” Archbishop Aymond said.Walid said in addition to staying away from large gatherings, he recommends people do their best to quell their anxiety by reflecting with family and take breaks from consuming news.“People should take proper precautions, but don’t fall into despair,” Walid said. “We look at these times as a test that comes from God, and with proper precautions and patience, we can get out of this.”“Here’s what I recommend: Don’t fall into anxiety over watching too much news, rather do things with family and try to relax,” he continued. “Do things to take your mind off the crisis and get you back into life. You can get overwhelmed by too much information and fear.”Although Ain’s role has changed as she faces this new challenge, she said that overcoming strife is not new to the Jewish community.“Now, more than ever, I’m trying to keep people physically safe and spiritually connected. In Jewish history, there have been times of strife and trouble, so this isn’t new,” she said. “We adapt, as we have for thousands of years.”The key difference now, she said, is the availability of technology. With live streaming, she said she now holds twice daily services, and that people have been logging in not just from inside the U.S. but from countries like Canada, Israel and Uganda as well.“I now livestream Shabbat every Friday evening and Saturday morning,” Ain said. “My membership also started a phone tree and outreach program to make sure we are checking in on the elderly and the needy.”Our God is near and asks us to be near to one another. Perhaps right now we cannot draw near physically to others for fear of contagion, but we can reawaken in ourselves a habit of drawing near to others through prayer and mutual help. #HomilySantaMartaWhen it comes to the Catholic community, Aymond said he also uses live streams to circumvent the restrictions on mass gatherings during this Lenten season.“We are live streaming masses online and on television. I’m writing spiritual pieces on social media,” Aymond said. “I want to remind people to not only get what they can from the TV and the Internet, but also the Bible. We can seek out those traditional resources, too.”All three religions have major holidays rapidly approaching — Easter, Passover and Ramadan all begin in the coming weeks — and each leader offered advice to their followers who might feel lost while observing this year.Walid said that Ramadan, which begins April 23 and ends May 23, is a particular “concern.”“Because we have nightly prayers together and daily classes on the Quran at mosque. It’s the one time of the year that Muslims who never come to mosque during the year, show up,” he explained.“Folks need to remember that you can stay connected as a community even if you can’t do it in person. I’ve seen families organizing Zoom calls for kids and other communities,” Walid reiterated.Ain said she has seen changes when it comes to other major Jewish events, such as Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.“Some are holding very small gatherings, while other families are choosing to change their dates,” she said. “And I’ve seen caterers still offering kosher meals for takeout for those who need them.”Aymond said there may not be an immediate lesson that folks can leearn from this challenging moment, but he said that ultimately, it’s time to “trust in your faith.”“I think what we do know is that in times like these, it doesn’t make a difference if you’re rich or poor, what your ideology is or even your political party,” he said, “it affects everyone.”“But it also brings us together and it can certainly increase our trust. Real faith is when you walk by trust and not by sight. If we saw everything, it wouldn’t be faith,” he added. “So trust in your faith.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Read More »

City governments effective because they ‘have to get things done,’ says Sly James in Prairie Village talk

first_imgBrian Ellison, left, and Sly James participated in the first Village Talk event at Village Presbyterian Wednesday.In a wide ranging talk in Prairie Village Wednesday, Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James touched on everything from the role of cities in American life and how elected officials can work effectively together to the intersection of race relations and policing.The discussion was the first of Village Presbyterian Church’s new Village Talk series, a program of live conversations exploring “the intersection of faith and values, religion and public affairs, social issues and the common good.” The series is hosted by parish Associate Rev. Brian Ellison, a contributor to KCUR.Discussing his role as mayor, James said cities are widely viewed as more efficient than state and federal governments because “we don’t care about all this ideological nonsense. We have to get things done.”“At the state level and the federal level, it’s party against party. Even common sense solutions fail if they don’t meet the party criteria,” he said.While much of the talk revolved around duties as the head of Kansas City government, James also touched on a number of deeply personal topics, including the foundational experiences he had as a child that formed his current beliefs, and how those beliefs influence his views of race relations, policing, education and more in his current role.James described a childhood in the middle of the century that straddled the line between white and black Kansas City communities that rarely intersected. His parents moved the family from Wyandotte County to Kansas City, Mo., and converted them to Catholicism when James was around 9 years old so that the children could attend parochial schools.Education, he said, was something his family believed was worth making tough choices for. James attended a high school that was almost entirely white and lived in a neighborhood that was almost entirely black.“That made me less popular in both places than I would have liked to have been,” he said. “But it also gave me an education about the fact that the stereotypes that were drilled into my head around the neighborhood about white people were not true.”Today, he said, he feels passionately that people need to get to know each other on a one-on-one level before they make judgments. Having an interracial family underscores the point.“My wife is white. My kids are mixed,” he said. “It’s very hard for us to figure out who to be prejudiced against.”At one point in the evening, James said the Kansas City area faces a number of challenges, and that societal problems aren’t confined to Kansas City proper. He noted that many payday loan operations, what he described as one of the “scourges of society,” are headquartered here in Johnson County.“What they do to people and families is horrible,” he said. “But when they have the money to buy politicians, they’re never going to stop.”The next Village Talk will feature Time Magazine editor-at-large David von Drehle on Wednesday, Feb. 11. University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will be the guest April 8, and KCUR host Steve Kraske will be the guest May 13.last_img read more

Read More »

Pontevedra, Bata claim Bacolod futsal titles

first_imgAlexa Mae Casi then came up with back-to-back conversion for Pontevedra A in the 20th and 30th minutes to hand her squad the advantage for good.Casi’s teammates Aleah Valdez and Chenny Mae Dañoso were also named Best Goalkeeper and Best Striker, respectively.In the boys born 2004 finale, Bata Tigers outplayed St. John’s Institute behind Jun Enrico Ayunan, MVP Anthony Galve and RJ Pat dela Cruz. Tim Sarrosa was the lone scorer for the losing team.“This event is among the grassroots programs of NOFA to discover more football talents from the province,” said Negros Occidental Football Association secretary-general Ronald Ian Treyes./PN Young Negrense futsal players in action during the Dynamic Football League Futsal 3rd Conference. PHOTO COURTESY OF RUI CARPENA PONTEVEDRA A and Bata Tigers stamped class in their divisions to emerge as champions in the Dynamic Football League Futsal 3rd Conference on Tuesday at the Panaad covered court in Bacolod City.Pontevedra A claimed the championship in girls born 2005 when it defeated Pontevedra B squad 4-3, while Bata Tigers dominated St. John’s Institute 3-1 in boys born 2004.Pontevedra B drew first blood in the tightly contested final round behind the seventh-minute hit of Best Midfielder awardee Hannah Marie Montalban and back-to-back shots by Best Defender winner Joce Gembera.But Pontevedra A started its climb with an 18th-minute conversion from MVP winner Mikyla Robles followed by an own goal violation by Gembera to cut the deficit 2-3.last_img read more

Read More »