Meetup is an app designed to build communities based on shared interests. Graveyard tours. Bat watching. Train spotting. Whatever floats your boat, you can find others with a shared interest. It’s a great tool for meeting people—for building community in a culture where loneliness is almost as dangerous a pandemic as Coronavirus. In a surprising turn of events, while the pandemic ravages the lives of individuals, local communities across Europe are thriving. Neighbors are reaching out to support one another. People are singing on balconies, spontaneously performing concerts in the street for their neighbours, fetching shopping, and offering up their…

As Ramadan starts this week, billions of Muslims worldwide are trying to strike a balance between the holiest month’s traditions and virus restrictions, starting with new ways to feed the most vulnerable communities.

Staffing and stocking a busy store amid a pandemic is a challenge that grocers are embracing, even as their customers fret over food shortages.

Nigerian Christians and their allies are hoping the Trump administration’s interest in religious-freedom issues outweighs a waning interest in Africa.

Christians feel the cravings of the season even more acutely amid the outbreak. In South Korea, Lent and the coronavirus have settled in simultaneously. Although Daegu, about three hours south of Seoul, has been hit far harder, the capital city prepares for the worst. As Christians spend certain days fasting, or swear off sugar, caffeine, or social media for the season, Seoul shuts down schools and churches, canceling everything from Fashion Week to Ash Wednesday services to BTS concerts. It’s as if the whole sprawling, frantically productive city has been forced to sit and think. The greater Seoul area houses…

Identifying, equipping, and releasing leaders is critical to church health and growth. Every church on a mission to make disciples and represent Christ must keep leadership development as a priority. Identifying, equipping, and releasing leaders is critical to church health and growth. While this is true of every church, this doesn’t happen the same way in every context. The demographics of your community make an impact on your leadership. “Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.”[1] This saying is commonly applied to areas of poverty because this reality is more obvious there. It’s also true of various contexts where churches…

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 3, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss the Monitor’s coverage of anti-Semitism, as well as community service.

Mark Sappenfield’s column inspired one reader to think about the value of community; another reader shared their appreciation for a cover story.

This is the seventieth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here. See Mel Lawrenz’s book, How to Study the Bible: A Practical Guide. “I will put my law in their minds.” Jeremiah 31:33 The idea of a perfect society is called utopia, a term coined by Sir Thomas More in his fictional book Utopia (1516), which described an island where a…

Marvin DeJear’s Evelyn K. Davis Center shows that social service organizations can strengthen whole communities – one person at a time.

President Trump’s pick of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace top spy Dan Coats elicits expressions of concern: Will intelligence be distorted?

Those who struggle with depression need their church community

How a residential program in Virginia goes beyond crisis pregnancy aid. In the living room at Carried to Full Term (CTFT), a residential home for mothers in Haymarket, Virginia, seven-month-old Fabia crawls toward her mother, stretches out her arms, and whimpers. Her mother, Samrawit (Sam) Biru, obliges and picks her up. The two touch heads for a moment, like a mother lion and cub. This is their home—at least for now. In October 2017, while pregnant with Fabia, Biru moved from Ethiopia to Virginia and was living in the US on asylum when she found herself homeless. She moved into…