Humanitarian Disaster Institute Hosts COVID-19 Memorial Service on March 11

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The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College and National Association of Evangelicals will present a free COVID-19 Memorial Service on March 11 at 4:00 p.m. to mourn pandemic losses and celebrate Christian hope.

The COVID-19 Memorial Service will help a world stricken by the pandemic to begin the process of walking through grief toward hope.

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College will help churches, organizations, and individuals learn how to assess and address the spiritual, emotional, and practical care needs of others during the second annual online Spiritual First Aid Summit on Thursday, March 11. The COVID-19 Memorial Service will close the online event. Registration is open at spiritualfirstaidsummit.com.

“As the pandemic wears on—with over 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States—the spiritual and emotional needs around us are great and growing,” said HDI founder Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at Wheaton College. “The COVID-19 Memorial Service will help a world stricken by the pandemic to begin the process of walking through grief toward hope.”

Available to access for free on or after March 11, the virtual event will include messages from dynamic speakers, as well as free tools and resources designed to support those who provide care or support to others. Upon registering, summit attendees will receive access to a live event page. After the event concludes, content will be available for ongoing access online.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Walter Kim, Ph.D., President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Church
  • Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institutes of Health
  • Nona Jones, Author, Pastor, and Entrepreneur, NonaJones.com
  • Nicole Baker Fulgham, Founder, The Expectations Project
  • Kenneth G. Hodder, Commander, The Salvation Army
  • Carole Bremer-Bennett, US Executive Director, World Renew
  • Francesca Battistelli, Christian recording artist
  • Kent Annan, M.Div., Director, Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Wheaton College
  • Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute and Blanchard Chair of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership, Wheaton College

Speakers will share reflections, Scripture readings, music, and short messages to encourage and uplift attendees.

Follow the hashtag #SpiritualFirstAid for event information, as well as for resources to help churches provide spiritual, emotional, and practical care during the ongoing COVID pandemic and beyond.

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About Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
The Humanitarian Disaster Institute is the first faith-based academic disaster research center in the country. Our mission is to help the church prepare and care for a disaster-filled world. We use our research to create resources and events geared toward students, survivors, helpers, and researchers. Housed at Wheaton College Graduate School, the institute also offers an M.A. in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership and Trauma Certificate to equip the next generation of humanitarians. Learn more at wheaton.edu/HDI.

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