In these unprecedented times, here are some resources and information to help you make decisions for your church regarding the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Information from Guidestone/Baptist Press on How Churches and Pastors Can Benefit From the Stimulus Package
Resources from Baptists on Mission (click image):
Also from Baptists on Mission:
Does Your Church Have a Kitchen? Can your Church Help in Other ways? This is a moment during which the CDC and our State Emergency Management are making preparations for responding in the best way possible to the COVID-19 virus that has the potential to touch every community in the country. The CDC and Emergency Management have reached out to us to prepare to help in providing for the needs of those who are isolated, sick with the virus, or whose lives have been severely impacted by the closing of schools and businesses. This is not a call to action, but a call to plan and prepare.
We are asking you to help us prepare should we need to develop a network of churches across the state to prepare meals to be delivered to those who are isolated by the coronavirus or whose source of food has been interrupted by the crisis. (i.e. Children who receive free meals at schools may have no food while schools are closed.) . If you have a church kitchen that could be used if needed, please complete the form below.
This is a preparedness measure. We pray that none of this is needed, so please do not feel that you are already being asked to provide this service. Like for any other disaster, we are getting ready to respond to CDC and to State Emergency Management, if needed, and are planning as we continue to communicate with them.
Food Preparation Guidelines from the NC Department of Health and Human Services:
One of the ways we can be involved now, and possibly in the weeks ahead, is through providing food. Below are some food handling guidelines that will prove very helpful.
Also, for churches providing meals for a local agency, please have them make sure they have a request from the agency and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the agency. This will be important to receive reimbursement from the state. The MOU can be very simple, but will be
needed. Links below for food sanitation in this pandemic. Please disperse widely to any groups who may be involved in food services.
Food Safety Information:
How to Safely Prepare Boxed Meals:
Food Safety Guidance for School Meal Delivery:
3 Scenarios for Church Gathering, from "Renewing Worship" (click image)
A way to use technology to continue to reach the community amidst closings/isolation
Updates from Church Mutual Insurance (click image)
How one church in the Johnston Association is viewing the crisis as an opportunity to show Christ to others:
At my home church and community, we have noted two things coming out of the coronavirus situation.
1) This is an EXCELLENT witnessing opportunity. Since everyone is freaking out about getting sick and possibly dying, it makes for a natural conversation starter about eternal life.
Person A: I am so nervous about the Coronovirus. I don’t know what I’ll do!
You: I’m not overly worried about it. If I get sick, and even if I die, I know that God’s in charge AND I know where I will spend eternity. I am ready! How about you? Have you got your eternal plans all worked out? We all get excited about securing our provisions for a two-week quarantine but we fail to even think about our relationship with God! Make sure you’ve got your eternal destination booked already!
2) Care Teams—As we await the first round of quarantines in our small town of 1,000 (with one school serving the community), all it will take is ONE victim in the school and the whole school will be shut down and everyone in town who works at the school or with a child in school (half the population), will suddenly be on a two-week lockdown. Our Care Teams will then be ready to serve as “runners” for those who can’t leave their homes. We can pick up and deliver groceries and some meds and other needed supplies.
a. Currently we have put together a list of our “most vulnerable people” in our church and community who are elderly and have no family nearby. Even if they have “family” but all live in the same household, we are putting them on the list.
b. Next, we are identifying who would be willing to serve as a “runner” on a Care Team.
c. We will be orienting these volunteers about protocol, how to stay safe and healthy, HIPAA guidelines for protecting patients’ privacy, etc.
d. We will be publicizing our church phone number as the primary contact and then “assign” a volunteer per family.
e. Once begun, the family can make their orders to Walmart or one of the two local grocery stores and we can go and pick up their supplies, dropping them off on their front porch without going in or speaking to them face to face.
This is a wonderful ministry opportunity. If we are not organized as the church, then this short, two-week window of service will slip past us. If we ARE prepared, then the families in crisis served in Jesus’ name will be forever grateful for our acts of kindness!
--Dr. Kelton F. Hinton, Johnston Baptist Association