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News of Trans-European Division
2020-03-31

 

 



CARING FOR COMMUNITY EVEN IN LOCKDOWN – CHURCHES ACROSS EUROPE RESPOND

26 March 2020 | St Albans, UK

Adventist Churches and institutions across the Trans-European Division are working hard to support members, students, and community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Online support includes church, Sabbath School and prayer meetings; specially developed video clips; and opportunities for a listening ear or prayer. Additional resources for family worship, homeschooling, and college classes are also being provided.

On the ground, members are volunteering to help those in crisis in their neighbourhoods and towns, working carefully in line with government regulations.

The Trans-European Division (TED) has provided a simple guide for coping in quarantine and isolation and is connecting with members through a weekly podcast, Words of Hope.

HUNGARIAN PASTOR CARES FOR MARRIAGES DURING CORONAVIRUS ISOLATION

25 March 2020 | Budapest, Hungary

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a threat to our physical health, but equally a challenge for our emotional and relational lives. As the quarantine in China loosened, people went in unusual numbers to the offices to apply for divorce.

Couple therapists report that too much time together can raise tensions in a relationship that are perhaps not noted so much during the year. This is why many couples head for therapy after Christmas and summer vacations. Police officers equally report that long weekends and national holidays lead to a rise in domestic violence.

Gabor Mihalec is a pastor in Hungary and a licenced couple therapist. Recognising the particular family issues related to lockdown during the coronavirus crisis, he has started ‘Couple-minutes’, a ministry to support couples during social isolation. 

THE VALUE OF ONE LIFE. ETHICAL DECISIONS IN A TIME OF CRISIS

25 March 2020 | Athens, Greece

Yannis Vrakas, Associate Secretary-Treasurer for the Greek Mission, reflects on the ethical implications of the current coronavirus lockdown affecting his country and large parts of Europe.

THE ETHICAL QUESTION

I believe the way we view this whole struggle is connected with a deeply ethical question: How much do we value life?

More precisely, as coronavirus is predominantly affecting the elderly and people with serious preconditions, how much do we value the life of the weakest and most vulnerable among us?

Is it worth it to lose my business in order to protect someone I will never meet? Is it worth it to have another recession in order to save the lives of those who are supported by an already weak economy?

As societies turn away from God, the dogma of ‘survival of the fittest’ or the richest is too often prevalent. However, God has given us a different set of values even as He Himself took on a weak and vulnerable human form in order to save the weakest in the whole universe.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” [Philippians 2:5-8 NIV]

I am not sure how religious Greek politicians are. You may be sure though that I am glad that the centuries-old Christian tradition still shapes our social outlook and can drive ethically based political decisions. 

I pray that my fellow countrymen will seek to have a personal relationship with the God who seeks to save the weak. I also pray that these difficult choices will be good for our economy.

For myself, I now follow and understand more those loving words of the apostle Paul:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” [Philippians 2:3-4 NIV]



 

 

 

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