“What Will Be the ‘New Normal’? Anticipating a Post-Pandemic World” is the title of the next Moderator’s Town Hall sponsored by Paul Mundey, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The online event takes place May 19 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with leadership from Mark DeVries and Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen.
The town hall will explore what the future may hold in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the possible shape of a “new normal.” Topics include the current state of the pandemic along with its future trajectory and related tensions, when and how churches can safely resume in-person activities, the importance of hybrid (in-person plus online) approaches to ministry to ensure accessibility for all, facing into the loss and grief of the COVID-19 crisis, how to support both church members and pastors, and how best to equip ourselves for tomorrow.
Jacobsen, of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va., has presented at several Church of the Brethren webinars and online events since the start of the pandemic. She is a professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University and a specialist in infectious disease epidemiology and global health. She has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, Gavi, UNICEF, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and other international health organizations. Her long-running projects at the Mercy Hospital Research Laboratory in Sierra Leone are testing new infectious disease surveillance methods, documenting the emergence of diseases like chikungunya and Ebola in the region.
DeVries is founder and president of Ministry Architects, a church resourcing organization offering counsel in strategic initiatives for congregations as well as youth ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, small church ministry, and executive coaching. Other organizations he has founded or co-founded include Ministry Incubators, the Center for Youth Ministry, and Justice Industries.
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