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…even when church is cancelled.

With all that is happening in the world, it is more important than ever that we “be the church.”  Though we have shifted our worship to an online format and our face-to-face encounters are restricted, we have the opportunity (and we must make the opportunity) to love our neighbors in creative ways. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Make sure “social distance” doesn’t become “social disconnection” that results in “social isolation.” Distance is appropriate. Avoiding large crowds is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  However, we need to guard against isolation. Senior citizens and other at-risk groups already face the challenge of isolation. If we are going to “love these neighbors”, we need to be intentional about reaching out to those who are most vulnerable and supporting them.  Many do not have online access or social media presence.  If you know someone in a high-risk group, One of the best things you can do is reach out to them by phone.  It’s personal and they need to know you care. Ask if you can read a verse of Scripture and pray with them. See if they need assistance picking up groceries or medication.  And if its good for high-risk individuals, it’s good for everyone. Reach out. Period.
  2. Share, not Shop. Yes, we all feel out of control and people shop to regain a sense of normalcy. But hoarding toilet paper IS NOT NORMAL. Really, no family I know need 2 cases of TP in the next 3 weeks!  Instead, you can feel the same sense of control by SHARING!  Sharing communicates that we are in this together and we will get through this together.  It builds community without competing for resources.
  3. Refuse to feed the Panic Beast “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” I’m not suggesting that we deny the existence of the problem, but let’s post data and messages that help, not the hype that harms. Please don’t share conspiracy theories or unverified news hype online (or off-line). It only increases the anxiety and mental stress that more and more people are feeling. Adding to people’s mental stress is not love—it is cruelty.
  4. Pray No, this is not a pat answer. Prayer is a fundamental spiritual practice. It affirms our faith in a God who is active and engaged in the world and welcomes God’s intervention and help. It also reinforces a self-understanding that we are limited and are in need of God’s help. So, come before God through Jesus to intercede on behalf of the world God loves.
  5. Feel free to add your creative ideas to Be the Church!

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