There is abundant Good News out there this morning and much of it is coming from secular organizations:
Fairfax County Schools in Virginia is not only providing food for their students while classes are cancelled but the school system is also paying hourly workers throughout the closure.
Edinburgh convenience store owner Zahid Iqbal is providing Coronavirus Survival Packs for the elderly and sick at no cost. The packs include toilet paper, antibacterial soap, tissues and acetaminophen.
We in faith communities should consider these offers a challenge. What will we do to lavish love on anxious neighbors in these days? Ideas:
- Use church money (undesignated offerings, recent cash windfall) to ask elderly members to email their grocery list to the church. Shop and deliver the groceries and leave them at the members’ doors.
- If you live in an area with Door Dash or Grubhub, send gift cards to vulnerable people in your neighborhood. (Have church members suggest recipients, especially those who’ve been laid off.)
- Assign each elder/deacon with a short list of people to call on for checking in and prayer. Keep touching base at least twice a week until the national emergency is over.
- If your local businesses (diners, independent coffee shops, small shops) have gift cards, buy them now for future outings and purchases to support the local economy.
- If you have hoarded hand sanitizer or toilet paper, make gift packs for homebound neighbors, thus redeeming yourself.
This is not a good time to keep your own needs to yourself. If you need food, cleaning products, prayer, virtual face time let someone know today.
There is so much Good News and we who worship a Savior of Good News have the unique opportunity to be the Church we were created to be. Make these days a creative outlet.
And wash, wash, wash your hands.
Video is Emma Moyer (soprano), Vivienne Longstreet (alto), Roy DeMarco (tenor) and William Butron (bass), students at Westminster Choir College and choir section leaders at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Maplewood, NJ. Video by Nina Nicholson, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Newark