Religions during Covid-19: Spiritual and Practical
Elmbridge Multi Faith Forum held a virtual event (zoom) on 10th November, during Interfaith Week, to hear from different faith perspectives on how they have coped during this time both practically and spiritually.
Rabbi Kath Vardi from the North West Surrey Synagogue spoke about how community is a Jewish requirement and the challenges with online services. She also mentioned the advantages to online services and being innovative in the present time.
Rev Jonny Blair from Walton Parish highlighted the work of churches during the lockdown including helping with food banks, befriending, and helping those who had fallen through the cracks of social services. He said the Bible mentions how it is more blessed to give than receive and psychologists say it is good for your mental health to give.
Mohammad Habib from Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking, said Covid-19 served as a reminder that God has power over everything and it was an opportunity to reconnect with faith. The Mosque opened a food bank and served the local community and surrounding area 24/7 with over 1500 food parcels delivered. Habib said, all educational classes are being held virtually.
Saidhanya Raviendrakumar from the Sri Raja Rajeswari Amman Temple spoke about missing their annual Chariot festival which is usually held in public and other festivals which were not able to go ahead. The temple live streamed services to around 300 families and hold youth classes online. She said Hindu scripture say ‘health is wealth’ and how this crazy time made her realise God really is within us.
John Molloy from the Shinnyo En Buddhist Temple said the head if Shinyo En live streamed messages of encouragement and meditation; people came together in unified prayer to overcome the pandemic. He said people could make online prayer requests for all those who died or ill, pray for the safety of front line workers and containment of the situation.
The event concluded with an interactive Q&A session with 40 participants.
Recordings of the talks are available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEBuPCCPktUwnsWyr3BTDbA/videos