Here are 11 ways you can continue to Be the Church on Mission during the Coronavirus:
1. Check on your neighbors. Call, text, or yell across the street! See if they need anything, if there is any way you can pray for them. Pay extra attention to neighbors that are elderly or have any conditions that might put them in the at-risk category. Now is a great time to get contact info for your neighbors so you can check in remotely.
2. Connect with others online. God has gone before us in this situation and provided us with many ways to stay connected through the internet. Use social media, video calls, even emails to encourage others, stay connected with them, and share life even during these times. We are isolated physically but we do not need to be isolated socially. If you are struggling, others are probably struggling too. If you have a craft, a book, or anything to share, you can bet that might just brighten someone else's day.
3. Give blood. Here is a message from the Red Cross, “Right now, the American Red Cross encourages healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment at redcrossblood.org to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and avoid any potential shortages. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.”
4. Buy Local online. Many small local businesses will be greatly affected by the "stay-at-home" orders and efforts to decrease the spread of the virus. You can support many of them and help them stay afloat during this time by shopping with them online. Small businesses are essential to the economic welfare of the country.
5. Make donations. Many organizations are working to meet needs around the world. Support their efforts on the ground by making donations online.
6. Take care of you. You cannot take care of others if you are not well. Continue to exercise, eat well, don't spend too much time on screens, reach out and connect with others, read, listen to music, do not isolate yourself completely.
7. Clean up your community. While you are out taking walks (which we strongly suggest) take a trash bag and pick up litter you see in your neighborhoods.
8. Support your local food bank. The people that will be hit the hardest by the effects of the virus and shutdowns will be the people who are already struggling or were on the verge of struggling. Spry Church has a food bank that serves dozens of families a week and they continue to do so during this time. You can drop off your donations of non-perishable foods in the bin outside the church office.
9. Share information responsibly. There is a ton of information out there concerning the virus and the implications of its effects on the world. Some of this is good and reputable and some is misleading and sometimes false. The CDC and WHO are reliable organizations that are releasing up to date information. If you choose to post articles online or share information with others, please make sure it is accurate and helpful.
10. Pray. There is a meme going around that says something like, "I have removed all distractions from your life, can we talk now? - God". It is accurate. God has shown us we are not in control of our lives, He is. Spend this time with Him. Share your concerns and fears with Him. Tell Him funny stories. Listen for His voice. Pray, pray, pray. And please, remember the doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals in your prayers!
11. Share the Gospel with others. No more excuses. You have a hope that others desperately need. Please don't hoard Jesus!