Current issue

March 2024

  • Easter reflection from the Moderator
  • The gifts and challenges of motherhood
  • Cathedral anniversaries


Home  >  Features  >  The Coronavirus Diaries: 'Something New Has Already Begun'


The Coronavirus Diaries: 'Something New Has Already Begun'

The Coronavirus Diaries: 'Something New Has Already Begun'

Wednesday August 12 2020

The Rev Philipp Ross is a minister from the Lutheran Church of Bavaria in Germany. With his wife Anne, also a minister, he is involved in Church development in the Church of Scotland and works as a minister in Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh.

I was asked to give a perspective about being in Scotland during Coronavirus, being away from my own home and how that feels.

My family and I, who live here in Scotland as a family of five, felt very privileged during this time. We were safe, comfortable and well provided-for with everything we needed.

Nevertheless, we felt, at the beginning of the lockdown, more foreign than ever. We lived like on a small German island in the middle of Edinburgh. Our Zoom talks mainly went back to Germany. But we decided to stay.

After first meetings only in parks and now again in buildings, we feel a deep connection with our friends and acquaintances here in Scotland.

We all have something in common. We have all changed. We have given up a lot of our freedom for a long time. We have given up for the good of society. It was a time to practise solidarity.

To me, the Coronavirus crisis seems to be a burning glass that makes everything appear sharper and clearer. And this at the political level for whole states, as well as for the Church and its individual communities.

I am currently moved by the image of the caterpillar pupating and then becoming a butterfly. I have the hope that with the crisis, the time of pupation has ended. That something new has already begun during the crisis in the churches.

Coronavirus, and what was triggered by it, shows me that church is the place of real relationships. In the time of crisis it seemed to me very difficult to make small talk with church members. Almost every conversation was real, moving and inspiring. A dynamic has been created that makes change possible. Church can change. Just like the caterpillar can change into a butterfly.

Coronavirus has made me realise that the church of the future is turning to face all people. Only through lived relationships will it really become church. Church as a place where one is in relationship with others.

A place of solidarity and empowerment. An open community that grows organically. A church that is diverse and wild. A place of prayer and lived hope.

The Coronavirus Diaries: Updates from Church of Scotland partners around the world

Myanmar: We Will Overcome this Hardship
Ghana: This Too Shall Pass
Brazil: The Least We Can Do
Kenya: Caring for One Another in Christ
An Indian in Germany: A Time of Enrichment
Argentina: Time in Between
Malawi: 'My identity in Christ remains unchanged'
Jerusalem: Being Rather than Doing
Malawi: No Lockdown and an Election
Zambia: 'I will never leave you... or forsake you'
Czech Republic: The Covid Cover-up
Zambia: 'All Life is Sacred'
Israel/Palestine: 'The Air is Clear'
Nepal: 'Please Pray for Us'
Malawi: Tough Dilemmas
Italy: 'Together, We Will Get Through It'