I WANT TO HELP
Over the last couple of weeks many of you have expressed an interest in helping during this crisis. First, let me say that the impulse to help is definitely the work of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” That means the desire to do good puts us in line with God’s will. So, here are a few things that all of us can do.
- Practice social distancing – All of us can help one another, our healthcare workers on the frontlines, and those most vulnerable to the coronavirus by doing what our leaders have asked us to do. I know it’s a challenge, but it is a significant way we can help one another in this very odd season.
- Pray – Perhaps, the most helpful thing all of us can do is pray. James tells us, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray.” Among many other things, you can pray for the sick, for those grieving the loss of loved ones, for healthcare workers, for local, state and national leaders, and for those who have lost jobs. Also, pray for the health and wellbeing of our brothers and sisters in Uganda at St. Francis Chapel, the Diocese of Northern Uganda, and our missionaries, Rev. Alison Barfoot and Dr. Katie Rhoads. Also, pray for the leaders and children at the Lamb Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.By the way, I corresponded with Alison in Uganda and she was able to provide me with some key details about the situation on the ground. The airport and all the borders in Uganda are closed with no idea of when they may reopen. In addition, they don’t have the internet infrastructure to all work from home. Also, many people rely on a day’s wages to buy food and those jobs vanished overnight. Alison says, “These situations are likely to impact security. For example, yesterday there was looting of shops in Kampala that had been closed and the police dispersed the looters with live bullets.” So, pray for Alison and all of our brothers and sisters there.Finally, not only can you pray for others, but you can be prayed for as well. In each Sunday email there is a link where you can provide any prayer requests you have. Those requests are then sent out to our teams of intercessors who will pray for them during the week.
- Pick up the phone – If the Lord puts someone on your heart, then give them a call. If they are members or attenders of Christ Church, you can find phone numbers through our online directory. Michael Carter recently sent out instructions on how to access this directory through our website. If you’d like to receive those again, contact Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, our goal is to make some sort of contact with everyone at Christ Church during this time. If you are willing to make calls, please contact Trish Nelson (email@example.com). Making contact, especially with those who are most isolated, is the need of the hour. And finally, if you have friends and neighbors who are among the most vulnerable, please check in on them. Perhaps, God will use you to help meet a need.
- Proclaim the Good News – I received this from a parishioner on Saturday and it’s a great way to share the Gospel. “We are in new territory for sure, but I think it is a good stretch for us all to learn how to be the church in our neighborhoods. I sent a link of last Sunday’s service to my neighborhood book club thinking it might bring comfort to some who are anxious. Who knows if anyone will listen to it but we prayed about it and sent if off asking God to use it with whomever is ready to hear a reminder of God’s loving care and presence. So, we’ll see what happens.” What an easy way to get the message out! Send our video links to your friends, family, and neighbors, especially those who do not have a church home. You can also share those videos with your Facebook friends. During times like these, people tend to be more open to the Lord, so give it a try.
Thank you for taking the time to read this very long email. Remember, on Wednesday you will receive an email of my conversation with Ryder and Bishop Todd.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).