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Pastor sees positive impacts from pandemic

Pastor Harun Gatobu

Pastor Harun Gatobu St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Mission

Q: What positive impact(s) have you seen from the pandemic?
A: When the pandemic started, there wasn't anything much that was positive. There was a lot of fear as we wondered what to do. As time went on, we started noticing some positive impacts. Many people were in the forefront trying to help one another. Our church started a drive through food pantry for the community. People started calling each other to check on how they were doing. We started livestream worship and Zoom for meetings. It was great to see people who were technology challenged now using computers and phones for communication.
 
Q: What does your faith community look like now?
A: My faith community is more loving and caring. My faith community has also become global. There are people worshipping with us through social media from all over the world and especially from Africa.

Q: What are you proudest of as an outcome of the pandemic?
A: I am proud how our county has kept us informed and all the guidelines it has provided to keep us safe. I am proud of the relationship we have built with each other as a community of faith. I feel very close to people as we have continued to pray and share our joys and concerns. Lastly, I am proud of the quality relationship that many parents have built with their children as they stayed home. On a personal level, I have spent good time with my teenage son.
 
Q: What do you most value now as a result of the pandemic?
A: I really value my faith in God. It is amazing how positive things can come out of pandemic like this. I really value how the community is caring and loving. It reminds me of an African saying by Professor Mbiti, "I am because you are, and since you are, therefore I am."

Pastor Harun Gatobu