So, six weeks into our season of physical distancing, there comes a point when I’m feeling pretty sedentary. Don’t get me wrong, being an “online pastor” is taking a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen and trying to communicate with folks in 14 different ways. But I’m a guy that likes to help people and when I’m sitting at home it doesn’t feel like I’m being that helpful.
You may be feeling the same way. Many of us come to church in our desire to connect with and help others. Many of you have been involved in ministries of feeding the hungry, while others travel to “The Mountain” each year to help repair homes in need. Being the hands and feet of Christ seems much harder when we’re stuck at home, watching Netflix, and eating more than we should. Even when we’re able to get out (to shop or go for a walk) it still doesn’t feel like we are being Jesus to folks in need.
While I long for the day when we’re able to get out and be with others I’ve come to see that there are still ways that I can carry out the call to grow in Christ and share God’s love while still social distancing. For sure, we still have some “hands-on” work happening — our Showers of Blessing shower and laundry program and the monthly Feast Community Meal — but for many of us, the risk of being among others is too great given our age and health status. We need a way to help from our living room.
So, you want to help others? Here are three suggestions for how you can continue to share God’s love with others in our church and the community:
Make a mask . . . and wear a mask!
As I mentioned last Sunday, we wear masks in public not simply because our mayor says so. No, we wear masks because we care for our neighbors and we want to prevent the spread of the virus to others. So, I want to suggest wearing a mask is an expression of our love of Jesus. No, they aren’t comfortable — but Jesus never promised a life of comfort. Rather he said he would be with us amid those burdens.
As of today, our Child Development Center program will likely reopen before we resume worship as an expression of our love to families going back to work. One of the requirements for reopening is that all our staff and children 3 and over wear masks. So, we want to make sure to have a supply of masks for teachers and children that may not have one of their own. If you would be willing to make a mask or 5 for our CDC it would be a great gift. Likewise, when we come together for worship in a month or so, we ALL will be asked to wear masks to participate in worship. It would be great if we could have a supply of masks at the main entrance to give to folks visiting our church. So, don’t forget to wear your mask . . . and try to make some if you are so gifted.
Start a card writing ministry
I have a friend in ministry who is known throughout the conference for his sending cards to others during times of need. I can remember times when I’ve been going through difficulties and opened the mail to find a note of support from my friend Tommy and it made a huge difference to know that someone was thinking about me.
City Road Chapel certainly has folks in need to would be blessed by a card from a brother or sister in Christ simply expressing your love and support. This includes our homebound folks, but during this crisis when ALL of us are homebound it includes pretty much all of us. If you would be interested in starting a ministry of writing notes of support to others in the church (or for that matter others in the community) let me know and I can send up an updated church directory.
Donate to the Help Fund
Yeah, I know that I keep going on about financial support, but the fact is that more than ever we are using our Help (Altar) Fund to help the needs of others. The Help Fund supports our ministries like the Community Meal and the Showers of Blessing program, but it also allows us to provide resources to both church members and folks in the community. These include:
- Kroger Cards (for food and gas support)
- Walgreens Cards (to assist with co-pays)
- WeGo Bus Passes (allowing folks to get to work and access resources)
More than ever we are seeing folks needing especially the Kroger cards and the bus passes. Our ability to provide them is dependent on donations to the Help Fund. To make a gift online please visit https://cityroadchapel.org/helpfund.
Last, but not least, while we are home pray!
- Pray for the medical professionals and first responders in harm’s way as they care for the sick among us.
- Pray for our city and state leaders as they make decisions regarding when to open up society and keep all safe.
- Pray for our church and all the ministries that we continue to be a part of.
- Pray for our Child Development Center staff that they will remain healthy and represent us well in sharing God’s love.
- Pray for the depressed, the lonely, and all who are struggling through this time.
We are all called to ministry. May God reveal to you where that needs to be today.