“There are also other ways to be a faith community like doing services for the marginalised and others that are impacted…As a community, let’s focus on the accompaniment and “be there” for each other in prayer life, family life and community outreach. This pandemic has taught us that the Church is more than just a building. It consists of a community of believers on their journey of faith.”
In the midst of COVID-19, the Community Action Network or CAN, the national affiliate of ICMICA-Pax Romana in Malaysia, launched a series of online dialogues entitled “Latte with Jesus” bringing together leaders from Catholic and Protestant churches in Malaysia to discuss what this this moment means for people of faith. Viewers activity participated with the panels through online chats and all were invited to bring their own Lattes or other drinks.
The concerns raised in these ecumenical dialogues, which are available to watch at www.facebook.com/CANMalaysia, reflect deeper concerns of Pax Romana members and other Christians around the world.
An article in the Malaysian Herald (5/31/20) summarized the the tone of one of the early conversations on April 23rd during the early stages of the crisis:
Viewers shared, live on Facebook, their anxiety about their inability to celebrate Mass / Sunday services and partake in any community based spiritual activities. Was this a crisis of faith, a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, questioning why God has allowed this to happen to us? Is He listening to our fervent prayers? Or is this a test of our faith that God will deliver us from hardships as so promised by Jesus in the Gospels?
In another session, the concerns of how Christians should live out their faith in this moment, was acknowledged as a struggle. Even if we cannot go to Mass or Sunday services, we can still respond to the call of Jesus to serve the marginalized among us. “This pandemic has taught us that the Church is more than just a building. It consists of a community of believers on their journey of faith.” (Herald, 6/7/20).
Other sessions took up other critical themes, including COVID-19 Impacting the Marginalized: Our Faith in Action (May 20); Economic Justice (June 1); Youth in Crisis (June 17) and Racism Among Us: Our Faith Response in Malaysia (July 17).
This excellent ongoing series is open to all members and friends of Pax Romana and can be found at www.facebook.com/CANMalaysia/