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The pandemic and the UMC in Europe

. 1 min read

Screenshots of images from the Facebook page of Eurasia Area Bishop Eduard Khegay, where he posts live greetings on his Facebook page to viewers in Russia and around the globe during the “stay home, stay safe” phase of the CORVID-19 social distancing. Photo courtesy of Bishop Eduard Khegay’s Facebook.
Screenshots of images from the Facebook page of Eurasia Area Bishop Eduard Khegay, where he posts live greetings on his Facebook page to viewers in Russia and around the globe during the “stay home, stay safe” phase of the CORVID-19 social distancing. Photo courtesy of Bishop Eduard Khegay’s Facebook.
UM News Report
April 28, 2020 | UM News

In an episcopal area where United Methodists are scattered over at least 11 time zones, connecting in faith to overcome isolation was important even before the coronavirus pandemic.
These days, says Eurasia Area Bishop Eduard Khegay, that means tapping into technology in a way that has united his vast geographical area as never before.
“I am amazed and very grateful to the people called Methodists in Eurasia,” wrote Khegay, who is based in Moscow, in an article on the Eurasia website. “In this time of self-isolation, we have proven to be people of faith, not people of the buildings.”
The online Easter worship organized by the Eurasia Area provided a unique moment of connection, Khegay reported. Clergy and laity “participated together as a connectional church from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, from Bishkek to St. Peterburg, from Satka to Kiev, from Uzhgorod to Almaty and many other places in Eurasia,” he said.
Quite simply, it is a time of virtual travel. “Many pastors can be invited to preach online in the church in another city or country. I can visit many churches online in my area and experience the connectional aspect of our church,” Khegay said.
“And even though online presence cannot replace physical presence, it is a wonderful opportunity that we as people of faith can use in such a time like this.”