Love = Physical Distancing + Social Solidarity

To our dear community

At this time of heightened awareness of our global connectivity, we are deeply grateful for groups of people across the world and in the neighbourhoods around us, whose hearts have been knitted together by love for God, each other and our neighbours. 

We have considered when and what to communicate in a time like this when information, statements and regulations are coming quicker than we can keep up with them. We are aware that some of you will be reading this from countries who are further ahead in the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic than we are currently. We have been praying, lamenting and hoping with you and are so grateful for the wisdom, practical ideas for loving our neighbours and acts of solidarity you have shared with us as you have navigated this path. 

For those of us in South Africa, this last week has been one of rapidly unfolding change and learning: of gathering information, of practising ways of loving each other by physical distancing and of sorting out how we as churches, organisations, communities and families can carry on loving our neighbours in ways which create solidarity, connectedness and flourishing for all. At The Warehouse, our community has also been re-aligning our working habits and rhythms, working out what it means to love those who are most vulnerable amongst us, to discern what wisdom looks like in our daily practises and then to look outward to our city, country and continent. 

Some of the questions we are asking – and invite you to ask with us – as we pray, discern and act are: 

  • What does proclaiming and demonstrating the good news of Jesus look like in this space and at this time of physical distancing and social solidarity?
  • What does it look like to continue to work out of a praxis (reflection with action and action with reflection) that roots us in proximity to and solidarity with those in places of pain, in poverty and already bearing the brunt of inequality? 
  • What can collaboration look like in this time, and how can those who have shared imagination for what needs to be done, connect their strength, gifts and resources and work together in addressing current and upcoming challenges?
  • What does it look like to be responsive and proactive, to lean into love and relationship, to be alert to the Spirit and the evolving context, to be flexible, to be adaptable and patient and to lean into the collective wisdom of the Body of Christ? 

During this time, some of how we as The Warehouse will respond is coordinating shared action and solidarity from churches and the Christian community in response toCOVID-19. Some of it will look like a continuing commitment to the work we have already planned. All of it will be towards the Church actively living out the peace and justice of God for the world during this time.

The Church in Africa and South Africa has a strong history of community mobilisation to bring about structural and societal change as well as coordinated care for communities who are oppressed, vulnerable and marginalised. Time and again we have borne witness to the Church’s ability to tackle stigma, to offer integrated care for those affected and infected by various conditions, to network effectively with key stakeholders, to replace messages of fear with messages of hope, to advocate for equal access to services and to mobilise resources across social, religious and political divides. We are invited once again to demonstrate this creative, powerful and sacrificial love through our unified response to the current crisis.

We will be praying for you and your churches as you seek wisdom in living this out.

With love,

The Warehouse Team

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