COVID-19 is similar to the old movie “The Man Who Came to Dinner” – it’s a “guest” who just won’t leave and is constantly interfering in everyone’s business.
In the United States, new Omicron coronavirus infections are beginning to decline, but hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise. Churches that cheerfully held personal worship services during the holidays have returned to online-only services or to hybrid services with strict COVID-19 protocols.
Worst of all, schools suffer, with exhausted teachers, parents and students worried about the infection and frustrated by the emotions shaken by debates over the mandate of masks and testing requests. Even churches without associated childcare or school facilities are trying to cope with the efforts of COVID-19 regulations affecting families. Some churches have stepped up or launched mental health services specifically to help people who are tired of the coronavirus.
The result is that, although we have not returned to the starting position in the coronavirus pandemic, we have certainly fallen behind. Olivia McCormack of the Washington Post reports: “Between December 29 and January 10, approximately 8.8 million workers reported being unable to go to work because they either had a covid or cared for someone who did.” She further offers some great tips on how to help someone infected with COVID-19, such as purchasing groceries, taking medicines from a pharmacy, helping with household chores, and especially memory cards, phone calls and other notifications.
Despite all that we are still struggling with the short-term effects of Omicron, some scientists are now wondering if the latest variant of the coronavirus could be a “mother nature vaccine”. This rather astonishing idea arose because of three characteristics of Omicron, according to an article in The Conversation:
- “It spreads efficiently and quickly,
- “Generally causes milder disease than previous variants and
- “It can provide strong protection against other variants such as delta.”
If this hypothesis is confirmed, perhaps our unwanted “guest” will soon be gone – or at least become more manageable than the current raging pandemic.
Next climate report
Religious and secular climate activists are looking at the next phase of a February 28 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to the Guardian’s Bulletin “Down to Earth”:
“In the next few weeks, the world’s leading climate scientists will meet again to finalize the second part of their huge report. It will expose the likely impacts of our climate change on the real world. The summary for policy makers will detail the dangers, for consideration by political leaders and governments, to inform their domestic decisions and international efforts to combat the crisis. ”
Covering Climate Now reports: “The majority of Americans (63%) are concerned about climate change, according to the Yale Climate Change Communication Program. They believe Congress should do more to address this (60%) and strongly support policies such as incentives for solar panels (82%). ”
From now until then, United Methodist advocates will continue their efforts to inform, educate, and mobilize people to continue and expand their efforts in caring for God’s creation. Among the planned events:
United Methodist Creation Justice Movement will hold the last two workshops in its seven-part series, “Initiating and / or Developing a Conference Ministry. Sessions 6 and 7 are tentatively scheduled for February 21 – “Transition to the Mission: Field Activities” and March 7 – “How Can We Recover in the Mission?” For more information, contact Dana Joranka at [email protected] or online here.
Liz Lee, Climate Executive Director for United Methodist Women, writes: “Do you want public transport to be accessible, safe, accessible, to support workers in transit and to be powered by clean energy? Take action and join the Transit Equity Day live event on February 4 from 12-14pm Eastern Time on the Labor Network for Sustainability YouTube page. … Visit our website, where you can find resources, links and more ways to get involved. You can find out more about Transit Equity Day in this short video. ”
Do you know of any local or regional climate justice event that, according to Insight, you might like? Email Insight with details.
The Faith for Earth dialog is coming
The United Nations Faith for Earth says in its recent bulletin that it will work with “a diverse group of religious organizations, religious leaders, partners and friends to organize a Faith for Earth dialogue session to be held as part of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2). from 21 February to 4 March 2022. UNEA theme 5.2 ‘Strengthening actions for nature to achieve the goals of sustainable development’ is closely linked to the Faith for the Earth strategy and the enormous efforts our religious partners are making. ” See the links for more information.
Mental health first aid
Wespath, a pension and benefits agency for united Methodist priests and church workers, will offer a two-part virtual webinar in March. According to the announcement: “The training is led by Chris White, UK international hostage and crisis negotiator and first aid trainer for mental health. This training will teach you how to identify and understand mental health challenges with empathy and without condemnation.
“Session 1: Basics will be held on March 10 at 10, 14 and 19 hours. Session 2: Deeper diving will be held on March 24 at 10, 14 and 19 hours. Register for both sessions 1 and 2 to guarantee your place in both sessions. Learn more Register “
Mentions in the media from January 27, 2022
Northwood Church welcomes women, children to a shelter from the cold and a safe place to sleep – WTOL
Members of the United Methodist Church in Bridgeport (West Virginia) remain committed to food … – WV News