People typically think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage—as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recounting of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance. – Historian Thomas Cahill

It’s time for the church to be the church to this dark world.

It’s time…

COVID-19 has changed the world we live in.

It has altered jobs. Plans for college. Plans for families. Plans for our churches and communities this year.

It has led to discomfort or hospitalization or even death. 

It has delivered a debilitating blow to our businesses and economy.

It has changed greatly how many churches do church.

I believe the Church has a significant role to play during this pandemic.

It has a purpose and a calling for such a time as this.

Yes, surely we are called to draw near to God and to find peace in His presence.

But we are also called to be a witness and channel of the power of God’s good news.

We are beckoned to be vehicles of His courage and love and hope. 

In historical times of great distress, the Church has stepped up humbly to heroicly serve others in Jesus’ name. 

The question comes to mind: Who are those who are the most vulnerable and in greatest need?

For now, let me offer one for consideration: Nursing homes.

Out of all the deaths from COVID-19 so far, over 40% of them come from nursing homes.

As a result, out of necessity, many places have had to restrict visits and limit interactions for the sake of the residents and staff.

Yet, there is a toll. There is a cost. For the hearts of the residents and their families.

All through this time,nursing homes have had to make due simply by the grace of God.

But what if the collective churches in Charlotte could work together to serve them, the least of these in the pandemic?

What are some of the stated needs?

  • Families and clients long to connect with each other (beyond phone calls)
  • Pads have been helpful yet even in the largest facilities there is only a few available and not every resident can use them on their own
  • Volunteers to help with iPad calls are few, and the tests required to test and admit them are costly ($50/time)

What has been done?

  • In-House measures to assist in communication when possible with very limited hardware
  • In-House events that are outdoors and safe so that residents have some relational health
  • Some efforts at written connection and encouragement at a few nursing homes

What can the churches do?

  1. Provide iPad/devices/wheeled stands to bridge communication/interaction between residents and their families/friends
  2. Provide on-site volunteers to facilitate iPad communications
  3. Provide funds to cover COVID-19 testing for volunteers
  4. Provide remote trained volunteers to offer schedule chaplaincy “visits” through iPads during the week
  5. Assist in writing grants to access key resources for the nursing homes

And in the end they would do what desperately needs to be done but isn’t being done.

The Church would arise and be the church. Let it be! Amen.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40

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