What Can I Do? Outreach in the Time of Corona

What Can I Do? Outreach in the Time of Corona

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Churches are invited to copy this post, add their own information, and disseminate it in their congregations.

As the Coronavirus spreads from town to town and schools and businesses are shut down, many of us feel helpless and overwhelmed by the need we see around us. 

The cabin pressure has dropped precipitously, and we have pulled on our own oxygen masks.  Now we begin to look around the cabin and begin to tend to the needs of others.  How are the children?  What about my neighbor? 

Not everyone has the resources of mega-millionaire Ray Dalio who donated 60,000 Chromebooks to urban Connecticut students, but we can all do something to express compassion to those who are hurting.  Even when we are isolated, we can be united in love!  Try adopting one or two of these intentions each day.  You will reduce fear and bless your community.

First, Pray
Pray for the sick and those who are shut inside, pray for hospital workers, pray for teachers and parents and students, pray for pastors and civic leaders, pray for grocery store clerks, pray for small business owners, for truck drivers, and sanitation workers, pray for folks who are homeless, or furloughed, or those who have been laid off.

“Prayer is a way to align the universe with the will of God.” ~ Rev. Jacqui Lewis

“While we are working to ‘flatten the curve of infection,’ perhaps this time of isolation is an opportunity to accelerate our spiritual lives.” ~ Cameron Trimble

Check in
Find out how the neighbors are doing. 
  • Instead of driving by and waving, take a moment to reach out to your neighbors by phone or email. 
  • Take a walk down your street (or your hall) and leave a card with your name and number to introduce yourself to folks you may not have met
  • Check in and offer to do grocery pick up or run an errand
  • Create a Mutual Aid Network
Send some Sunshine
  • Send a card or note to those who are shut-ins at nursing homes
  • Drop off some flowers, or box of chocolates at a small business
  • Leave a note for your mail carrier, hospital worker, or grocery store clerk and let them know you appreciate their work
Get crafty and make your own face masks

Feed the Hungry
Neighbors are experiencing financial trauma and food insecurity is soaring. Local non-profits are struggling to adapt and keep up with demand. Send a cash donation to one of your congregation’s partner agencies.
  • (Congregations - enter your local non-profit links here, such as soup kitchens and food pantries)
  • Order seeds for your church ‘victory garden’ and start planting!
Shop Small, Eat Local
  • Support local restaurants by ordering a take-out meal
Contribute to Parish Care
Your (Pastor/ Church staff / Deacons) are providing spiritual support, alternative worship, and online small groups.  Help them continue their mission of caring during this crisis by honoring your pledge.  Give online through our secure portal or mail your check to:

Provide Church mailing address
Provide Online Giving link for your church
Encourage members to set up electronic bill pay through their own bank

More information on how to encourage giving, and options for electronic giving, are here.

Build up the beloved community

Support these ongoing efforts that create real change in communities across the country and around the globe.  Our combined gifts through the Southern New England Conference have profound impact and change lives.
  • One Great Hour of Sharing What may seem like a small investment to us yields amazing results worldwide. With water, sanitation and adequate food, children are more likely to attend school, and women, no longer searching for water, are able to earn money to contribute to their families’ well-being and overall health. Stand with UCC congregations by lending a hand through support to the OGHS offering! Your financial assistance will directly help people and communities affected by disaster, violence and poverty. Your financial assistance will be an investment into the lives of people and communities who need it most. Give here
     
  • RIP medical debt The Southern New England Conference's drive is part of a national initiative launched by the United Church of Christ in Chicago in the fall. The Conference will work with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization that buys up and then forgives medical debt for pennies on the dollar. Working with RIP Medical Debt, churches in the Chicago area were able to erase $5.3 million in debt, and St. Louis area churches forgave $12.9 million. Give here
This is a time to respond with generosity.  You can help the church to lean into this challenge and live the love and justice of Jesus.


 

Author

dkirk_18.jpg
Debby D. Kirk

Debby Kirk serves on the Discipleship Team and oversees the Youth and Young Adult Ministries programs of the historic Connecticut Conference. She organizes leadership development programs for youth, including Thinking About Working for God for a ...

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