How can faith leaders continue to offer hope, comfort and presence while being physically separated? How can we create new ritual, often mediated through screens to grieve, celebrate and mark time?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing grief on individual, communal, societal, and global levels. At the same time, our country is having heated conversations about whether faith communities can safely meet in person.
In this episode, which was recorded in late April, hear a conversation between Neha Markanda and Rabbi Jennifer Hartman talk about being faith leaders in the time of COVID-19. They discuss holding grief and gratitude simultaneously. They express the difficulty of postponing huge milestone markers and celebrations and the heartbreaking work of conducting funerals online. This is a touching and poignant interfaith conversation about faith communities gathering, celebrating and grieving in new ways, holding onto what makes us human. Conversation partners Neha and Jennifer were participants in the first cohort of the Collegeville Institute’s Multi-Religious Fellows program.
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Technology fatigue
- Holding both grief and gratitude
- Young adults and postponing milestone markers
- Maintaining rituals despite physical distancing
Neha Markanda sits on the Hindu Society of Minnesota board as the Strategic Planning Chair. She has been a volunteer at the temple since its Maple Grove, MN doors first opened in 2006 and has held various positions. Neha was also a co-founding teacher of Hindu American Temple School, where she taught children for nearly a decade. She believes Hindu temples, like the one in Maple Grove, are a beautiful abode and a mirror that reflect we are not bodies, faint minds, or material souls; rather beloved extensions of God. Professionally, Neha holds a MBA from the Carlson School of Management and is a trained Management Consultant working for a medical technology company. She helps organizations excel in business strategy and operations. Neha has worked with organizations such as Pfizer, State Street Global Advisors, Ameriprise Financial, McGladrey, McKesson, Target Corporate and Cargill in a global capacity. In her spare time she enjoys running, volunteering, traveling, cooking and entertaining family/friends.