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Untethered: On Exile, Chronic Illness, and Life in a Pandemic

In my mid-twenties, I found myself struggling with exhaustion. Having recently moved across the country, started a new job, and gotten married, I initially attributed it to stress. Even though these were positive changes, there was still a lot of adjustment involved. I tried changing my diet up and exercising more, which just made me... Read more

Wycliffe USA supports missionaries during COVID-19 pandemic – Mission Network News

International (MNN) — Missionaries everywhere have felt the effects of the pandemic, with many forced to either return to the U.S. or minister with limited ability to travel. Andy Keener of Wycliffe USA explains that many of the organizations missionaries flew back to the country when the pandemic began. We’ve had more than 200 families... Read more

Wellbeing levels fell during the pandemic but improved under lockdown

(Photo: Unsplash/Imani Clovis) Indeed, most assessments have found that they do. But these studies usually can't distinguish between the effects of the pandemic and of lockdowns specifically. This is because they often only compare people's mental states from before the pandemic and after lockdowns were introduced. A decline in wellbeing might be a response to the overall... Read more

Pandemic provides space for ministry innovation – Mission Network News

International (MNN) — An ancient Chinese proverb reads: When the winds of change blow, some people build walls. Others build windmills. Its a quote often used to inspire innovation something a Cru leader says is vital to navigating COVID-19 restrictions. People dont innovate until they really are forced to innovate. Sometimes, just one constraint will... Read more

3 ways to fight human trafficking during a pandemic – Mission Network News

International (MNN) — Today marks the World Day Against Trafficking In Persons an annual event geared to raise trafficking awareness. Between 25 and 40 million people are trapped in forced sex or labor worldwide. COVID-19 lockdowns make this crisis even worse. Lockdowns lead to isolation, which leads to vulnerability and abuse. The exploitation of children... Read more

Christian Leaders Disagree with MacArthur’s Church: Bible Doesn’t Require ‘Civil Disobedience’ in Pandemic

Christian Leaders Disagree with MacArthur's Church: Bible Doesn't Require 'Civil Disobedience' in Pandemic Two leaders at a well-known Christian ministry say they respect John MacArthurs church for defying an order from the state of California but believe other churches can reach a different conclusion and still be obedient to Christ and Scripture.Mark Dever,... Read more

LSESDs Beirut Baptist School faces challenges from pandemic and unrest – Mission Network News

Lebanon (MNN) — Beirut Baptist School (BBS), a ministry of LSESD, is prayerfully planning for next year amid hardships caused by COVID-19 and the Lebanese economic downturn. Distinctive Education The school was founded in the 1950s, so it has a long history and important legacy that endures today. Wissam Nasrallah of LSESD explains that BBS... Read more

Supreme Court Issues a Surprisingand DivisiveDecision on Churches and Pandemic Restrictions

The Story: Despite what appears to be a blatantly unconstitutional infringement of religious liberty, five Supreme Court justices are allowing Nevada to hold churches to a stricter standard than casinos. The Background: Last week the Supreme Court denied a request from a Nevada church that would block enforcement of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order that limits... Read more

Barbecue Baptist Church Delivers Meals, A Message and a Little Levity amid Pandemic

Barbecue Baptist Church Delivers Meals, A Message and a Little Levity amid Pandemic (RNS) Before the barbecue trailer, there was the toilet paper popemobile.With toilet paper hard to come by as stay-at-home orders took effect in many states earlier this year to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, Chad McMillan put the pastor... Read more

The Conference Reinvented: A Global Event in a Pandemic World – Tim Challies

This week the blog is sponsored by Getty Music. The team at Getty Music would like to remind you that summer registration for the Sing! Conference ends Aug 6, and if you use the code CHALLIES you can get 20% off! The Getty Music SING! Conference began in 2017 with a vision to equip believers,... Read more

Scripture engagement has fallen during pandemic – survey

(Photo: Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema)The switch to online services during the pandemic may have affected how much people delve into God's Word as new research by the American Bible Society has revealed a drop in Scripture engagement.  The organization's 10th annual State of the Bible survey reveals that engagement with Scripture has declined since the start of... Read more

Fighting the fourth pandemic: disinformation

(Photo: Unsplash/Markus Spiske)Coronavirus, racism and climate change were described as "the three pandemics of our time" by Bishop of Kensington Graham Tomlin, at the UK's National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast this summer. He was echoing the words of Father Andrew Moughtin-Mumby, Rector of St Peter's Church in Walworth, from the Church of England's national online service... Read more

3 Opportunities for a Transformed Faith during This Pandemic

We seem to be in-between seasons, dont we? This strange time we are in makes us evaluate the true significance of our lives. Before the coronavirus called our world to a screeching halt, we lived and worked for what mattered to usor we thought we did. Now our former priorities are called into question.Now more... Read more

American Bible Society: Scripture Reading Has Fallen during the Pandemic

American Bible Society: Scripture Reading Has Fallen during the Pandemic An American Bible Society report shows that Scripture engagement has fallen during the coronavirus pandemic.According to the 10th annual State of the Bible report, Scripture engagement is directly tied to in-person church participation."Faith communities have demonstrated incredible resilience, innovation and empathy through the... Read more

Thousands of Iranian Muslims Accept Christ in Spiritual ‘Pandemic of Hope’

Thousands of Iranian Muslims Accept Christ in Spiritual 'Pandemic of Hope' As Iran continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, internal strife and its conflict with Israel, many of its Muslim citizens are turning to Jesus Christ.According to CBN News, despite the Iranian government issuing a show of force by conducting executions, such... Read more

Texas AG: Local Governments Cannot Close Christian Schools during Pandemic

Texas AG: Local Governments Cannot Close Christian Schools during Pandemic Pointing to the U.S. Constitution and state law, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week issued a letter prohibiting local governments from closing private religious schools during the pandemic.The letter, issued July 17 and addressed to religious private schools in Texas, said Paxton... Read more

Can Kindness Heal a World Divided by Pandemic and Politics? Ashlee Eiland Thinks So

Can Kindness Heal a World Divided by Pandemic and Politics? Ashlee Eiland Thinks So (RNS) When asked what she would write about if she could write about anything, Ashlee Eilands answer was immediate.Kindness.It was 2018, and the pastor said the divisiveness and contention in public conversations was weighing heavily on her. Eiland, the... Read more

‘Wear a Mask,’ Trump Urges Americans: ‘They Have an Impact’ in Stopping the Pandemic

'Wear a Mask,' Trump Urges Americans: 'They Have an Impact' in Stopping the Pandemic In his strongest comments on the subject in months, President Trump Tuesday urged Americans to wear masks, saying the coronavirus pandemic likely will get worse before it gets better in the United States. Were asking everybody that when you are... Read more

Syrian refugees flood back to their war-torn country during COVID-19 pandemic – Mission Network News

Syria (MNN) —Triumphant Mercy Lebanon continues to offer Syrian refugees vocational training, business education, and the hope of the Gospel as many return to their war-torn country. Though the situation in Syria remains difficult, Nuna* of Triumphant Mercy explains that for many, returning seems to be the better option. The pressure for them to go... Read more

Pandemic Evictions in the U.S. Could Lead to a Homeless Population Explosion of 28 Million | RELEVANT Magazine

Emily Benfer is the chair of the American Bar Associations Task Force Committee on Eviction and the co-creator of the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard with the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. She’s a leading expert on evictions in the U.S., and she’s sounding the alarm. In an interview with CNBC, Benfer said the nation... Read more

Ministering to Wounded and Straying Sheep in a Pandemic

As COVID-19 has caused many churches to temporarily worship virtually, our gauges for the spiritual health of congregants have become muddled. Recent data also shows a decrease in online church attendance. How can church leaderspastors, deacons, and Bible study leaderswisely minister to straying and wounded believers in these socially distanced times? Fresh and Reopened Wounds... Read more

As Depression, Anxiety, Grief Spike during Pandemic, Churches Offer Hope

As Depression, Anxiety, Grief Spike during Pandemic, Churches Offer Hope CHICAGO (RNS) Not long into the coronavirus pandemic, the Rev. Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a pastor at Grace and Peace Church on the West Side of Chicago, began to hear from congregants who lost their jobs and were struggling financially as the city... Read more

Barna: One-Third of Practicing Christians Have Not Been Attending Online Church during the Pandemic

Barna: One-Third of Practicing Christians Have Not Been Attending Online Church during the Pandemic A survey from Barna shows that one-third of practicing Christians have not been tuning into their churchs online worship service or another churchs streaming service during the coronavirus pandemic.According to The Christian Post, the survey identified churchgoers as Christians... Read more

A third of practising Christians haven’t watched online services during pandemic

(Photo: Unsplash/Tyler Callahan)A third of practising Christians haven't tuned in to online services during the coronavirus pandemic, new research by Barna reveals.  Broken down by age, the survey - of adult American Christians - discovered that half of practising Millennials hadn't attended church in the last four weeks.  They were far more likely to skip... Read more

N.T. Wright Says the Pandemic Gives Christians a Chance to Learn What It Means to Lament | RELEVANT Magazine

As a New Testament scholar, N.T. Wright’s contributions to the modern theological canon are almost unparalleled. From his work on helping Christans rethink the idea of Heaven to his meditations on the Psalms, Wright has had a major role in shaping this generation’s popular understanding of the Bible. And now, his new bookGod and... Read more

Lecrae’s Five Tips for Staying Holistically Healthy in Pandemic Season | RELEVANT Magazine

Lecrae’s had an interesting quarantine, between releasing several new singles, retooling his highly anticipated next albumRestorationand being a vocal presence in the Black Lives Matter protests that have swept the nation. With that kind of output, a lot of people would forget to focus on themselves and that’d be unfortunate. “You can’t give what... Read more

For King and Country On Creativity in a Pandemic and Learning to Weep With Those Who Weep | RELEVANT Magazine

Joel and Luke Smallbone had to cancel a tour this year. Most touring acts did, of course, given the state of the world. But not every act has taken to quarantine with the creativity and energy that the brother duo better known as For King and Country did. They promptly set about recruiting some... Read more

Mental illness increases as coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world – Mission Network News

International (MNN) Depression and anxiety has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic and many people are searching for ways to curb it. David Creech, Operations Manager with Trans World Radio, works to provide online resources to help people cope with the global crisis. Theres a higher rate of suicides, there are more depressed people, especially among... Read more

How does eLearning change during a pandemic? – Mission Network News

International (MNN) — Around the world, education programs have had to shift online due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Teachers and students traded classrooms and in-person lectures for video calls and email threads. The Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) was no different. At first, it seems like they should have an advantage. After all, theyve... Read more

Asian Access overcomes pandemic restrictions, launches new programs – Mission Network News

South Asia (MNN) — So far, 2020 has been a memorable year for all the wrong reasons. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic create an unpredictable atmosphere for ministry. More coronavirus coverage here. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says theres a bright spot amidst the chaos. Asian Access equips national church leaders to multiply... Read more