This is undeniably a weird and difficult time. No matter where you live, if you are a part of a religious community, check on your leaders after you take a moment to call on the homebound and ailing members of your community. Those leaders have likely spent many hours and days working to create plans, solutions, announcements, new arrangements, precautions and cancellation policies to help keep your community healthy and informed.

They are praying, reading, listening to advice from numerous fronts, and doing everything in their power to continue the work of their calling and the mission of your faith group while also helping the organization to take COVID-19 seriously without panic.

Please also consider how you give to support your faith community. Low attendance and canceled events means low offerings, but the same bills still need to be paid and people in the wider community still rely on your group’s outreach in various ways. If you can give online, do it. Or, pop a check in the mail. Love your leaders by taking one worry off their plates while they juggle all these new and weighty concerns.

As COVID-19 spreads and then recedes, people will need your faith community to continue doing good and faithful work. So, in the midst of all the other planning you’re doing to keep your family cared for, remember to care for that larger religious family, too.

Lara Blackwood Pickrel

pastor of First Christian Church in Smithville

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