How Can We Serve Our Neighbors During Coronavirus?

Updated March 31

Dear Compassion Connect family,

We find ourselves in the midst of a serious historical moment as our nation, world, and the Church grapples with the proper response to COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus). Our intent during this time is to embrace our security and hope in Jesus to prevent panic and fear, while also observing the wise precautions and strategies suggested by knowledgeable sources.

We have made the decision to take a phased approach in our response to this unfolding public health issue. This approach gives us the opportunity to quickly adjust our practices to respond safely and appropriately to this virus. For now:

All upcoming Compassion Connect related events or operations (such as Compassion Clinics, Dress for FREEdom, and our Bridal Shops), and in-person meetings are postponed, canceled, or will be held via conference call if they are scheduled between March 13th and April  30th.  Our staff is observing shelter in place mandates for everyone’s safety and to help slow the spread of the virus. Anything scheduled after April 30th will be evaluated prior to that date.

Our values of innovation and love have guided our discussions and helped us arrive at these decisions, but they have also moved us to ask “how can the Church use this opportunity to provide comfort and point people to the Light of Jesus?” We serve some of the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods and therefore it is imperative that we act wisely to prevent further spreading of Coronavirus, but not in ways that abandons our neighbors with less resources, access to care, or capacity. If we model ourselves after Jesus and the incarnation we will not avoid the difficult center of crisis but will wisely move forward regardless of fear.

The following are a few ways we have identified for Jesus followers to consider stepping into the gaps and serving during Coronavirus:

 

1.) Think creatively about ways to be compassionate to those being hit the hardest. Some ideas:

  • If you don’t know your literal next-door neighbors yet, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and see if there is anything they need.
  • If your church service is cancelled, consider doing a Facetime “virtual” Church with a friend or friends!
  • Offer to go grocery shopping or run other errands for a neighbor who is elderly or has a compromised immune system.
  • Take the time to call someone who may be feeling lonely due to the increased separation measures.
  • People may be more receptive to an offer of prayer right now–be open to where the Spirit may be asking you to intercede for someone.
  • Offer to help with childcare for working parents now that schools are closing.
  • Consider providing emergency shelter in your home to a local student who no longer has housing because of college dorms closing.

 

Related Post: Coronavirus Community Action Resources

 

 

2.) Listen to our Zoom Conference Call: “How Can Churches and Individuals Serve During Coronavirus?”

On Friday March 20th at 9am PST we hosted a Zoom video call to brainstorm and engage together about additional ways individuals and churches can step into the gaps created by Coronavirus. To watch the Zoom recording, visit our Youtube page here.

 

3.) Think Collaboratively about ways your church can draw closer to other churches.

  • If your church has the technology for remote services, how can you partner with those who don’t?
  • How can your church work with other neighborhood churches to respond to the needs of your congregations and the wider community?
  • Every community needs support in different ways right now, and we believe this is a great opportunity for churches in the same neighborhood to work together to meet these needs and share resources. If you are interested in getting your church involved in a collaborative Zoom call with other churches in your neighborhood, with the goal of learning how you can best serve your neighbors together, we invite you to join us! Please email us to learn more.

 

4.) Stay Educated and Proactive

Continue practicing smart prevention methods and social distancing, and share wise counsel with others. While we want to be generous and grounded in hope in Jesus, we also want to take precautions and protect our communities. (See our statistics and prevention infographics)

 

Going Forward In Faith

We will maintain a listening stance with our community partners and consider how we can innovatively and carefully mobilize The Church and her volunteers to fill additional community needs arising due to the virus. In these times of trial, we can be a voice of calm and peace in the face of panic and fear. Our desire is to be agile as the situation develops, so we will be in touch with any updates to our plan going forward.

Thank you all for your dedication to this mission of Unity and Compassion. Please join us in praying for those who have been affected by the Coronavirus, that the cases would rapidly drop off, and that the Church will take this opportunity to respond to a difficult situation with love and compassion. It is during the most challenging times in history when the Church has the greatest opportunity to stand up and fill the gaps, to tread faithfully where God is calling us.

In Christ,

Milan Homola
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Compassion Connect