With our Community Pastoral Care Network, we are seeking to meet needs. We want to keep our neighbors safe during the pandemic, but also make sure they are cared for in various other ways, and long after the pandemic is no longer a threat.
In addition to doing service calls, our other main work has been delivering food. Not everyone is able to make it to the store like they used to, and their connections and resources are not the same as before the pandemic.
We've partnered with various organizations and individuals to get food to our at-risk residents, including Restoration Ministries Food Pantry, Link Market, Alderman Brandon Bosley, and Kimberly-Ann Collins. We've also been able to provide household and cleaning materials, as well as masks made by some of our missionaries.
Again, this work is inspired by our desire to keep our neighbors safe, but also Jesus' command to love our neighbors, and His mission He declared in Luke chapter 4, when He read from Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor [Isaiah 61:1-2 NIV]
Jesus stops there, but Isaiah goes on to say: "...to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."
We have sat with those mourning. One of our neighbors who receives regular deliveries shared with us about her son who was murdered years ago, soon after becoming a lawyer; a pain which was reawakened when her neighbor's son was shot and killed a few weeks into the pandemic. We've prayed with and for her, and sang songs with her, including her favorite, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
In this time when getting together is not easy, it's been an honor and joy to safely come along side our neighbors and have some community.
As always, if you'd like to learn more, please look at our Programs section.