Ways to Engage

Friends, the unrelenting news and reality of the spread of the novel coronavirus and our countermeasures have brought us to an unprecedented time in our lives. Countless families have lost loved ones and are awaiting outcomes for other members. We have lost the ways in which we normally gather, shop, recreate, create – live. The raging seas of fear and anxiety threaten to unmoor us. The darkness seems to gather, yet I cannot help but see a light growing.

There is hope. We may have had our habits altered, but that does not mean we have lost our humanity. We do not know what comes next, but our God remains our rock and refuge.  He still whispers to us in the midst of the storm, calling us forth.  There is much to be about until social distancing drops from our daily vocabulary. Together, we at Central can shine our ever strengthening light to one another and for our community.

For those sheltering in place:

  • Make a habit of calling others, writing letters, video chatting with loved ones – they want to hear your voice. We all need connection.  Contact Linda Jennings if you would like to connect with those under mandated social distancing in Senior Living facilities.
  • Pick up that book you always wanted to read. You have the time.
  • Try out a new skill – yes you might fail today, but set aside time to make regular, disciplined efforts and the results will follow
  • Take time to actually be in solitude. Turn off all devices and just be present in the moment. The updates you miss will be updated anyways. You will be amazed at how refreshing this is and how many thoughts will pour forth. Peace will come and go, but keep working at it – this is a discipline as well
  • Call the office (765-962-8543) with any needs or call for assistance.  There are many able to go about who want to be there for you.

For those essential workers and willing to run errands

  • Call neighbors before going forth to see if others have needs to help limit trips for the most vulnerable.  Let Pastor Joseph know if you would like to pick up or deliver for members beyond your neighborhood.
  • Patron local small businesses. Let your canned food sit until you need to use it. We need them now and they have taken a hit.
  • Look for blood drives (Central is working on hosting one in early April – stay tuned), food donations, and service opportunities. I know we are not supposed to gather, but the needs have not gone away and they are taking the best measures they can. Fully understand the risk and step forward with what you discern.  Our Community Food Pantry on 19th street needs volunteers.  Contact Dave Shaw if you feel called.

For all of us:

  • Follow the CDC guidelines the best you can.
  • Refrain from judging those who will not come out and those who feel called to go forth and risk. We don’t know their full stories.
  • Read your Bible.  You can download the YouVersion App for various Bible Studies or join the rest of the congregation in Reading the Bible in One Year with the Read Scripture
  • Join a digital small group.  We are working on resourcing small group leaders with various means of digital conferencing.  We will have a list of various opportunities come Sunday morning worship.
  • Pray. Pray for all those people on the front line – the doctors, EMT’s, janitors, administrators, nurses, factory workers, government heads – the list goes on. Pray for those in the midst of the disease. Pray for those who are suffering from other sicknesses. Pray for our neighbors who don’t know what’s next. Pray for our youth who have lost significant life experiences to cancellations. Pray.  We can be together before our Father’s throne.
  • Let us all love well. It is my hope and prayer to help all know they are loved by an amazing God. I don’t care who you are, you are loved – let us try to let that love in. When we know we are loved it is easier then to love with abandon. To love our neighbors – even the ones who leave bikes in their yards and never bring in their trashcans. Even the ones who are not responding to this as we would like them to. This can be a phone call or shared food from your pantry or playing your guitar outside to bless the neighborhood or some other idea you uniquely offer.  Let us offer love.  Let us be the church.

You are all in my prayers. Keep the faith, Cling to hope. Let us love. God is still good. Together, we will get through this. Shalom.

 

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Joseph


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