Candler School of Theology will offer three webinars over as many weeks featuring dialogues among faculty and alumni exploring what it means to live their faith and practice ministry during the coronavirus pandemic. “Wilderness Wanderings: Faith and Ministry During COVID-19” will be held April 22, April 29, and May 6 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT. The webinars can also be viewed live on Candler’s Facebook page.

Drawing connections to the ancient Israelites’ time in the wilderness, each session will explore ways to engage the questions, challenges, and creative possibilities facing the church during these uncertain times.

Wednesday, April 22
Topic: “Walking Through Grief”

In the wake of COVID-19, our communities are facing agonizing grief over the loss of lives, jobs, social contact, daily rhythms, and a sense of stability. How can the church help individuals express grief with honesty and authenticity? What rituals or practices from our traditions can provide a way to process the reality of grief in a way that brings communities together and deepens faith formation?


  • Kyle Lambelet, postdoctoral fellow
  • Joya Abrams 14T, associate pastor at Decatur First United Methodist Church in Decatur, Georgia
  • Brian Combs 06T, founding pastor of Haywood Street Church in Asheville, North Carolina
  • Quincy Brown 95T, district superintendent of the Atlanta Decatur Oxford District of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church

Wednesday, April 29
Topic: “Facing the Fear of Scarcity”

The shutdown of the economy has brought about difficult financial realities for individuals and institutions of all varieties. What would it look like to embrace God’s abundance in the midst of the fears and anxieties that come with scarcity? How can such conditions spark new thinking about how we are to lead and serve in the world?


  • Emmanuel Lartey, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spiritual Care
  • Richard Mosson Weinberg 17T, priest-in-charge at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC
  • Kimberly Wagner 09T 18G, assistant professor of homiletics, Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago
  • Quincy Brown 95T

Wednesday, May 6
Topic: “Longing for the Way Things Used to Be”

With in-person gatherings canceled, COVID-19 has ushered in a “new normal” for the church. Even as churches have quickly adapted through online services, many long to return to the way things used to be. To what extent is this possible? In what ways can this crisis cultivate fresh and creative ministry practices?


  • Karen Scheib, professor of pastoral care and pastoral theology
  • Patrick Faulhaber 12T, senior pastor at North Decatur UMC in Decatur, Georgia
  • Susannah Bales 12T, licensed marriage and family therapist at Fleurish Psychotherapy and Wise Heart Families; director of children’s ministry at Embry Hills United Methodist Church in Atlanta
  • Quincy Brown 95T

The series is sponsored by Candler’s Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement.