Covid 19 Corona Virus: Our Social Responsibility

The Methodist Church in Ireland has issued important guidelines and instructions in regard to how churches operate at the present time. Obviously CSR urges all to respond to these guidelines very seriously. In this developing situation, there may be further guidance in the days and weeks ahead to which we will need to respond in regard to our church life. 

This situation affects the church pastorally and in our public worship. However, the effects of the outbreak of Covid 19 affects everyone in our society. CSR wishes to highlight the following points in particular in regard to our social responsibility in this time. As followers of Jesus Christ it is our social responsibility to act in the following ways... 

 

1. Follow government advice. 

Follow all the good practice outlined by the NHS and the HSE and other government authorities. 

 

2. Act on behalf of the most vulnerable. 

As people who are always to act socially with consideration for the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves anyway, it is our responsibility to consider the impact of our actions upon those who at this time are very vulnerable, in particular the elderly and those with vulnerable health, as well as those in perilous housing situations. 

 

3. Don’t stockpile. Others are in need. 

 

4. Support groups, financially and practically, that will be picking up on the fallout, e.g. homelessness charities and support groups for other vulnerable people. 

 

5. Be mobilised in your community. 

 

The coming weeks may see more stringent restrictions in our society in regard to gatherings, movement and goods & services. In particular, there may be those who are unable to access basic needs because of the need to self-isolate or the unavailability of services. In such a setting, the church must be mobilised on behalf of the wider community. 

 

This may include... 

 

  • Working alongside other churches and community groups in regard to responding to needs. 
  • Being at the centre of local community initiatives. Some areas already have Facebook or WhatsApp groups that have started up. 
  • Delivering groceries or other services to those who can’t move about. 
  • Offering babysitting (given school closures) to parents and other practical support to health service workers in particular. 
  • Offering the use of houses/rooms to those who may need to avoid a particular house. 
  • Supporting those who are now becoming redundant or whose finances will come under severe strain. 

 

These are only examples. In them all, various levels of wisdom will need to be exercised. However, we need to be clear that the disciples of Jesus are called to lay down our most valuable resources for the sake of Christ and on behalf of others. 

Churches are currently curtailing much of their programmes. However, our social response in this time can be the catalyst to activate us to a greater operation of church, not least in areas that we could easily have neglected otherwise.