The focus of this article is on a 69 year old Dutch Reformed congregation in Lichtenburg (North West province), South Africa. It reflects on the congregation’s understanding of the communio sanctorum, the practice of which was halted due to COVID-19. Initial responses to the crisis suggested a deep longing for the communio sanctorum and a yearning among inactive church members to reconnect to the faith community. This created an expectation of a large-scale return to public worship once social distancing measures were relaxed. Also that the leadership would pursue opportunities to reconnect inactive church members to the faith community post-COVID. It however transpired that the congregation was merely trying to restore its pre-COVID-19 homeostasis. A brief historical probe of the communio sanctorum is compared with results of a small-scale empirical enquiry into congregants’ perceptions of the communio sanctorum from an insider-perspective. The article argues that the congregation may have missed an opportunity to re-imagine the communio sanctorum due to a reductionist view. It concludes by alluding to a need for a reframing of COVID-19 as a kairos moment with a view on a reorientation towards the meaning of the communio sanctorum.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: By engaging church’s historical and empirical insights from an insider perspective of a South African congregation within a practical theological framework, the research challenges reductionist views of the communio sanctorum held by faith communities. The resultant view, that the communio sanctorum has both inward and missional meaning, has implications for post-COVID congregational studies and congregational praxeology.
The book of Amos, particularly his message on social justice, has been of great interest in scholarship in recent times. However, the extent to which social justice issues manifest in the text and how they relate to modern context have not been fully explored. Following a careful reflection on the call for social justice in Amos 5:21-24 and informed by a justice-denying Nigerian context, could the theme of social justice, as reflected in the preceding text, inspire the prophets of The Apostolic Church LAWNA to proclaim a liberating and empowering message to the powers that be (political establishment), in solidarity with the poor and marginalised people of Nigeria? This concern is the main thrust of this article. Over the years, not only has the book of Amos become an inspiration for contemporary struggles against social oppression and injustice, the life and ministry of the prophet himself has become a model for pastors/prophets and crusaders of justice and righteousness today. In view of the prevailing social injustice and oppression in the Nigerian society, can the present-day prophets of The Apostolic Church LAWNA Nigeria be called upon to be as fearless as the eighth-century BCE Israelite prophets were, in raising their voices both within and outside the faith community to demand for a right andjust society?