How can the church help care for and support people who are on their own Pilgrimage Through the Pandemic?
Join the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Rev Dr John Armes in conversation with the Rev Karen Georgia Thompson, the United Church of Christ Associate General Minister as she describes her Pilgrimage through the Pandemic following the sudden death of her father due to COVID19, his burial, her own experience of the illness and the aftermath of these experiences.
Her Pilgrimage involved death, grief, considering one’s own mortality, illness, exhaustion and the love and care received from others. She considers the role of faith, hope and community in the midst of the crisis. In particular how do those who have lost loved ones to the illness find ways to mark their death? How can the church help care for and support people who are on their own Pilgrimage Through the Pandemic?
The Rt Rev John Armes was consecrated as 26th Bishop of Edinburgh on 12 May 2012. Prior to this, he was rector of St John the Evangelist Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh and Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh.
Bishop, Diocese of Edinburgh, since 2012; formerly Dean, Diocese of Edinburgh, 2010-12; Rector , St John the Evangelist Church, Edinburgh, 1998-2012; b. 1955; m. Clare; 4 c.
Educ. Cambridge University; University of Manchester; Salisbury-Wells Theological College.
Deaconed 1979. Priested 1980. Formerly Area Dean, Rossendale in the Manchester Diocese; priest-in-charge, Goodshaw and Crawshawbooth, 1994-98; Anglican Chaplain to University of Manchester; Team Vicar and then Team Rector, Parish of Whitworth (University Parish), Convenor of Chaplaincy Ecumenical team, 1986-94; Chaplain, Agriculture and Rural Life in Cumbria (two-thirds time) and Team Vicar in Greystoke team ministry, looking after Watermillock parish, 1982-86. Curate, Walney, Barrow-in-Furness; Chaplain, Barrow sixth form College, 1979-82.
The Reverend Doctor Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister, Wider Church Ministries and Operations Co-Executive for Global Ministries. The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson is the Associate General Minister (AGM) for Wider Church Ministries (WCM) and Operations in the United Church of Christ and Co-Executive for Global Ministries with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is an inspiring preacher and theologian, who shares her skills and gifts in a variety of settings nationally and internationally, often using her poetry as a part of her ministry.
As AGM for Wider Church Ministries and Operations, Rev. Dr. Thompson provides strategic visioning and leadership for the programmatic ministries of Global Ministries, Humanitarian Aid and Development, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Events and Scholarships Management and Archives. Rev. Dr. Thompson provides leadership for the joint United Church of Canada and United Church of Christ committee working on the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), and in other ecumenical settings like the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Commission for Education and Ecumenical Formation as a Rapporteur.
Her ecumenical and interreligious commitments have overlapped with her interest and implementation of global consultations on multiple religious belonging. Her leadership in this area has created opportunities for dialogue in the church and created safe space for engaging the variety of expressions of religious multiplicity.
She is a gifted writer and poet. Her book of poetry Drums in Our Veins will be published in 2020 and is a compilation of poems that focus on the injustices facing people of African Descent and the fight and desire for racial justice globally. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, her poetry and writings reflect her Jamaican heritage and culture as well as the traditions and lore of her Ancestors.
Karen Georgia earned a BA from Brooklyn College in New York; a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC; and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also studied Public Policy at Duke University and earned her Doctorate in Ministry at Seattle University.
She is the mother of two sons – Everette and Patrick and has three grandchildren – Giovan, Elijah and Sara who are affectionately named by her as Peanut, Pumpkin and Pepper.