Posted on November 5, 2020 How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Landscape of Faith Community Interaction

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Landscape of Faith Community Interaction

Benjamin Chan

Nov 5, 2020


I invite you to listen to the presentations of different speakers of the Vellore Foundation Ecumenical Leadership Forum Oct 16, 2020. My presentation on How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Landscape of Faith Community Interaction begins at 3:50:

Click to learn more about the good work of CMC Vellore and Vellore Board:

My presentation outline:

(A) Three stages of reaction to COVID-19

  1. Deny – just a flu or our faith/ God is greater than the virus
  2. Panic – spreading false information about the virus – it does not survive hot weather, magic cure etc.
  3. Accept and balance respond – trust God AND respect medical advice


(B) Three major impacts on faith community

  1. How can the church conduct ministry as usual when we cannot have human contact and gatherings?
  2. How will it affect our income and can we sustain the operation including staff salary?
  3. When will it be over – waiting? taking the risk to restore face-to-face meetings? accepting a new reality? We are not returning to the pre-COVID but learn to live and BE TRANSFORMED TO LIVE IN THE Post-COVID ERA

(C) What have we done right so far – a sharing of International Ministries (IM)

  1. Human life given by God is the top priority – far more important than any church structure, traditions and form of ministries. Pay attention to those who suffer most in the COVID crisis.
  2. God’s Kairos (the right time of God) to serve – love our neighbors e.g. Metro World Child
  3. New wine skins of church communication and missions

(a) VIRTUAL REALITY IS HUMAN REALITY – virtual worship, fellowship and caring

(b) physical and live streaming conferences co-exist to reach wider and different audience, e.g. World Mission Conference

(c) Virtual mission trip and downloadable Bridges for Mission (B4M) Podcast

(d) WhatsApp Chat groups – provide spiritual support, COVID update and the sharing of resources

(e) WhatsApp Chat groups – Deepen relations and trust, and cast higher vision, e.g. forming an all India Baptist organization, and when formed, it will represent more than 5 million Baptist members


Presentation topics and speakers of the Vellore Foundation Ecumenical Leadership Forum

* How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed the Landscape of Faith Community Interaction:

A crisis can bring new opportunities. What are some positive outcomes that our Institutional?

Members and faith based communities have gleaned during the Coronavirus pandemic?

By Reverend Benjamin Chan, Area Director for East and South Asia, American Baptist International Ministries, and

Reverend Dr. Anna Thomas, Senior Pastor, Beverly United Methodist Church, NJ


* What Impact Does a Christian-Rooted Education Have on the Preparation of Future Doctors?

What are some new paradigms in educational ministries and how can we continue to holistically

nurture and make a lasting impact in the lives of others?

By Dr. Anna Pulimood, Principal, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India, and

Reverend Dr. Kibuuka, Associate Director, Liaison for higher education and advisor to the South Pacific Division, Seventh-day Adventist Church


* Empowering Medical Ministry in South India – Modeling Jesus’ examples to Support the

Needs of Others: How do our organizations seek to empower both women and men to help those less fortunate than ourselves through healing ministries and transformative relationships?

By Dr. Anu Rose, Program Director, Jawadhi Hills and Model Villages Project, Department of Community Health and Development (CHAD)/CMC, and

Scott Engelsman, Supervisor of Marketing, Disaster Response, RCA Mission in Europe and the Middle East, Reformed Church in America

* Mission Driven Volunteerism for Medical and Non-Medical Professionals: What are some examples of cross cultural mission work as we seek to reach all “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9)?

By Reverend Manchala, Southern Asia Area Executive, Global Ministries, United Church of Christ (UCC), and

Ms. Neethi Prasad Sevika Sanghom, Mar Thoma Syrian Church Diocese of North America.