With the pandemic brought about by COVID-19, the world is engaged in a situation unlike any we have seen in recent history. As of the end of April, more than 3 million persons had been infected (one-third of these in the U.S.), and, worldwide, almost 220,000 persons had died (almost 60,000 in the U.S.). Beyond this, there are the anxiety and isolation that have accompanied the closing of businesses, churches, schools, and the confinement of families and individuals to homes. Advance planning for most activities—from graduations to funerals—have been placed on hold or severely restricted, and unemployment, according to one White House official, could reach levels not seen since the Great Depression this summer.
Certainly, the portrait is ominous, but for Christians, the current scenario could serve as a stimulus for individuals and ministries to shine in ways not otherwise noticeable in good times. This article, by Wes Willmer and the late Calvin Howe, offers ideas for positive ways in which the Church can respond in these days.