19 March 2020 | St Albans, UK [tedNEWS]
With school and churches shut, travel clampdowns world-wide, self-isolation and social distancing becoming the new norm, the Trans-European Division has responded with Words of Hope in a video released today.
Raafat Kamal, Helgi Jónsson and Patrick Johnson all speak about the issue of how to be positive and share our Christian values during the crisis. The nine-minute video is hosted by TED Communication Director Victor Hulbert.
Kamal is grateful for positive reports that he has been hearing from across the Division, noting especially churches that have generated specifically tailored live streams for worship, sometimes as very short notice, when their physical buildings have closed. He also had a special message for those who are spontaneously sharing their care in practical ways.
“I want to thank those who are taking care of the elderly, or vulnerable neighbours – or, for example, those teenagers in Vejlefjord, Denmark. Their school is closed, but to keep essential services running they have offered to babysit for key health workers, leaving them free to continue saving lives.”
TED staff worship is now by video link. On Tuesday, Helgi Jónsson, TED Health Ministries director, shared a biblical message on overcoming social distancing, preaching from his living room in Reykjavik, Iceland. He emphasised that “your relationship with other people is reflective of your relationship with God.” Focusing on the parable of the 10 virgins, and Jesus’ description of the attitudes of the sheep and the goats, Jónsson noted that the essence of both stories was relationship. “If there ever was a time for this message, it is now,” he emphasised.
In the final part of the message Patrick Johnson, Ministerial Association secretary, speaks specifically to leaders. He notes that “it is in times of crisis that our true character shines through.” He adds, “Even though we cannot go to church, we can still be church.” He then expands this in practical terms, concluding with the promise of Isaiah 26: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Making video with a phone
With TED staff following government advise to, in the main, work from home, using video conferencing and phones have become important and effective tools to stay in contact and continue working. This created some logistical difficulties in filming this video message.
“We realised that it is the message that is important,” Hulbert states. “The technology is just a tool to transmit it.”
In this case, that tool was mobile phone technology. Each participant filmed themselves on their smartphone and then sent the result to Hulbert via dropbox. He then pulled the clips together on his laptop. “There is so much bad news and fear out there at the moment,” Hulbert stated. “We hope this compilation will encourage our members right across all our countries.” He also noted that maybe intentionally making this on simple phones can encourage our members and pastors to also use whatever technology they have got, to share positive messages and communicate with our members and communities.
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.