MEC 2020 August 20th Webinar
August 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EEST
Join us for our third MEC2020 webinar:
August 20, 4:00-5:30 pm Beirut Time (GMT+3)
No Space or New Space? Navigating Exceptional Times as the New Normal for the Local Church
Keynote Presentation: Nabil Habiby, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
Case Study: Ara Badalian, Baghdad Baptist Church
Case Study: Bassem Melki, Church of God-Beirut
Global Respondent: Shadi Fatehi, Pars Theological Center, London
Moderator: Emad Botros, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
As churches worldwide take measures to mitigate the health risks of COVID-19, the unprecedented situation of pandemic is stirring fundamental questions about the role and form of the local church. Extended lockdowns had left church buildings largely empty for months – with meetings and functions largely occurring on virtual platforms – and a return to in-person church life is slowly emerging in ways that involve elements both familiar and strange. Practical stipulations, like wearing protective gear and practicing distancing, are but one dimension of new fellowship realities. Deeper than this are ecclesiological questions leading us to rethink our understanding of the nature of “church.” This profound moment calls people of faith to explore illuminating readings of scripture and tradition.
In the Middle East, places of worship are regarded as meaningful, almost-sacred, spaces pivotal to forming identity and manifesting expressions of faith. Christians in the region have long faced a myriad of complex challenges, and for many the continuation of church gatherings is a crucial measure to maintaining a Christian presence. For believers living in contexts of extreme regulations and restrictions, church life has always lacked secure access to designated worship spaces; being a church beyond specific space has been more normative than exceptional. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts traditional church life in various ways, faith communities in the Middle East and beyond must navigate a new normal and reconsider what it looks like to be the Body of Christ in exceptional times like these.
To register, click here.
For questions, please contact MEC@abtslebanon.org.