Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1: 17)
“May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those
whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settled in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country let us choose love During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen”
(Prayer for a Pandemic by Cameron Bellm (krugthethinker) on Instagram).
Celebration Sunday, we are inviting you to:
Reach out and support those most vulnerable in society during this time
We’re currently in the midst of unusual days and anxious times. This is like nothing we have known in generations. These next few weeks and months will be fearful, uncertain and lonely for many, particularly those most vulnerable in our society.
It’s clear that the way the coronavirus pandemic is developing means it is affecting the vulnerable people in our communities most acutely. Furthermore, these are the people for whom accessing basic services, food and support is most difficult. This imbalance of both vulnerability and support feels unjust.
However, the darkest of times is often the time when the kindness of humanity gets the opportunity to shine.
You may have seen the #viralkindness campaign sweeping across social media over the past week. It was launched by a lady named Becky Wass, a freelance copywriter based in Cornwall. Becky designed a postcard which could be posted through neighbours doors, offering to help carry out errands such as shopping, collecting urgent supplies, posting mail, or simply offering a friendly phone call for those who were self-isolating. This campaign has been shared several thousand times and hundreds of ‘mutual aid’ groups have been set up in neighbourhoods across the UK offering similar practical support.
The coronavirus pandemic is a call for all of us, but particularly for us as Christians, to learn how to be hyperlocal and to reach out to our communities. It’s a chance for us to ‘learn to do right [and] seek justice’ in the midst of these difficult times.
Here are some things that you can do:
– Join in with the #viralkindness campaign by posting a note through your neighbour’s door offering help and support.
-Find your local Mutual Aid Group. Many communities have set up Mutual Aid groups, to support people in their surrounding area. You can find a list of many of these groups here.
-Call up a friend or family member who lives alone and may be in need of a chat.
– Donate to a foodbank. Because of coronavirus, foodbanks are already beginning to be stretched due to the strain on resources. As a result, many UK foodbanks are running low on essential supplies such as long-life milk, cereal and pasta and have seen a fall in general donations. You can read our guidance on how you can support your local foodbank here.
-Donate to homeless charities. People sleeping rough are particularly vulnerable during this time and they are much more likely to have a range of existing health conditions as well as having less access to hygiene facilities to wash their hands. Find your local homeless charity and see what you can do to help.
– Purchase gift certificates and vouchers to support small business owners, whose livelihoods are threatened due to loss of customers.
Over the coming weeks and months, JPIT will be sharing stories of good news and challenge from across our communities, as well as practical ways you can be supporting the most vulnerable in our society. Keep an eye on our website and social media to see our latest updates.
In your very being you exist in relationship,
living in service and love
with yourself, and with us.
In reflection of this you call us into community,
that in knowing one another,
listening to one another,
and serving one another,
we might encounter you.
Through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ
When you encountered a hungry crowd,
or a family in need of healing,
or a group isolated from society,
you responded with action,
feeding, resurrecting, welcoming.
Open our eyes to the needs of those around us,
especially as we encounter new challenges.
Help us to turn to one another in love,
responding in action,
in service of your hope.