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During the first week of the pandemic, the church building was closed, but church gatherings were still happening online. I felt a strong sense of togetherness with others while we were praying, crying, and sharing online. I understand that we are created to be social beings; therefore, social connection is not a choice, it is essential to my mental and spiritual health. When physical gatherings are not feasible, human connection can be achieved through different channels, such as phone calls, video chats and writing. I am reminded of the testimony of the apostle Paul, despite his imprisonment, he maintained connections with other believers through writing letters. Should there be telephones or internet available, I believe Paul would not hesitate to initiate contact with other believers using different channels.  I am inspired by Paul’s courage and resilience in isolation, he risked his life to continue fellowship with other believers. 

In my life group, we discussed how to relate to one another in love when human relationships are so complex. We wrestled with the topics of forgiveness and love, relating to people we find it difficult to relate with. We explored the idea of using boundaries as a tool for loving others. One of the major reasons we come together in my life group is because we experience loneliness and isolation during this pandemic. Another major reason we come together as a life group is that we need other believers to hold us accountable for our spiritual lives during this pandemic. We take communion together, listen to one another, encourage each other, and pray for one another. I understand every life group will fall short in some area, and that's ok. The benefits outweigh the potential losses ! Participating in life groups, online church services, and online communion gives me a sense that “We Are In This Together”. 

- Volney Hui

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