ADRA-UK is promoting community outreach by Total Member Involvement
throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Your church has now moved from the building to a virtual space. Sabbath School, sermons, Bible studies and prayer meetings are all held on computers, phones and tablets. The world of sitting in buildings for worship has now moved to our sitting in bed, on sofas and at tables. So how can we continue to connect with the community in this environment while on lockdown?
On a daily basis, each of us can offer prayers. Why not pray for the homeless, those living in abusive relationships, or key workers who are suffering at this time? Think about praying for the Government as they make decisions; and, of course, pray for those suffering from COVID-19. Why not create a prayer journal and document your prayers with relevant scriptures?
Social isolation has caged us into our own spaces, which in turn can spawn frustration, anxiety, low moods and depression. Why not make contact the old-fashioned way, by letter? However, what might be more appropriate in these times is a call or text, just to ensure that neighbours, friends, and family have someone to talk to, even just for a good old natter! WhatsApp groups are useful for connecting with family and friends, as are FaceTime, Zoom and Skype meetings.
There may be people in your community whom you have never met but who are in walking distance of where you live. You can connect through www.nextdoor.co.uk, a website where you can find out the needs in your community, and also post any needs that you might have. If your local church has a community outreach initiative, get involved, keeping safe as you go.
‘In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” ’ (Acts 20:35, NASB). Sometimes, all we can give is money – and even the smallest amounts given can go a long way in supporting community outreach. You can donate money for community outreach and international development (which is actually community outreach overseas) at www.adra.org.uk.
During your lockdown, sure, you need to stay at home, but our presence needs to be ‘out’ there, through your prayers, through connecting with friends and family, through volunteering in your local community or by giving money to assist the work being done. ‘By our churches there is a work to be done of which many have little idea, a work as yet almost untouched. “I was hungry,” Christ says, “and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Matthew 25:35, 36 [NKJV]. Some think that if they give money to this work, it is all they are required to do, but this is an error. . . . It is right to give our means, and many more should do this; but according to their strength and opportunities, personal service is required of all’ (Ellen G. White, Welfare Ministry, p. 189, emphasis supplied).