Collaborative Responses to COVID-19

Read Time: 5 minutes
By: City Gospel Movements

City Gospel Movements is determined to share best practices with city leaders who unite the Church in cities around the world. During this COVID-19 crisis our mission hasn’t changed. We wish we were not living in this reality, but we are encouraged by how the Church is responding to this crisis. We have been on many Zoom calls with leaders and organizations across the nation to gather the best resources for you to use or adapt in your cities. We have also compiled local stories to inspire you towards similar action in your town.

As a dedicated city leader, we know you are already working hard to respond to the needs of your community. We hope this curated listed of learning opportunities and innovative ideas encourages your leadership. We have organized these resources by topic: Learning Opportunities, Service, Evangelism, Prayer, and Online Church. We will be updating this list of resources weekly, as well as sending out weekly emails for time-sensitive opportunities. If you are not signed up for our newsletter, you can sign up here.

***Time sensitive opportunities are designated with (TS).

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  • (TS) Many of you might have been disappointed by the cancellation of conferences. We had planned on attending Q 2020 and although the gathering in Nashville won’t be happening, the conference is! They are pivoting their efforts toward “How to be a Good Neighbor.” You can get a two-day digital pass for you and your team to hear from current thought leaders and engage in conversation with your colleagues. Use code CGM50 to get a digital pass for $49 instead of regular price for $99 per person. Register here.
  • Christ Together is partnering with Catapult and The Send Institute to provide free 6-week coaching to help pastors create a 90-day response plan in response to this crisis. You can sign up and learn more here.
  • The American Bible Society is offering a free resource about response to trauma entitled “Beyond Disaster.” Download here. They also encourage you to reach out to them with any prayer requests you might have during this time.
  • The National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NALEC) created a FREE Spanish-language manual to help Hispanic Evangelical congregations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the manual here.
  • The Art of Neighboring created tips and tools for followers of Jesus in their COVID-19 Neighboring Toolkit for this time. Download this easy and helpful resource here.

SERVICE

  • Elderly: Love Our Neighbors has responded to C-19 by responding to city officials asks in helping deliver food to homebound seniors. They added a COVID 19 section to their website that provides a place for volunteers and people with needs to register.  The site also has a donation option and a list of food pantries that are in need of volunteers. All forms on the site feed back into an Airtable database (a 3rd party app).  They created a call center to help triage cases, contact food providers to prepare food boxes, and coordinate volunteers to pick up the food and deliver to homebound seniors. If you want more information or are interested in duplicating our Airtable database for your community for free, please contact eric@loveourcities.org.
  • Medical: Compassion Connect is a nonprofit that is passionate about uniting the Church through different platforms like medical clinics. They are adapting their medical clinics for churches to reach out to those they would have served at a medical clinic. They are also creating ways to for people in healthcare to have childcare during this time. CC partners with Medical Teams International to use their mobile clinics, which are now being transformed to testing clinics for C-19. If you want to know more about these adjustments they are making, reach out to them or us. They have also created a guide for churches to respond to Coronavirus here.
  • Schools: School Connect in Phoenix, Arizona has provided a Google Form for schools to fill out their needs so they can match it with local businesses and churches who they know can help fill the schools needs. They are also working with businesses and schools to get refurbished laptops to give to families who do not have technology so their kids can have access to their teachers and other online schooling. The local internet provider is giving 30-60 days free Wi-Fi to help these families.
  • Refugees: Portland, Oregon churches partnered with a local refugee care nonprofit to hold a no-contact rice and beans drive for families in need.
  • Elderly: Do you have a Meals on Wheels in your area? Meals on Wheels’ vision is that no senior would go hungry. Many of their delivery drivers are elders themselves and have stopped delivering meals because of the health risks. If you are interested in volunteering, head to their website.
  • Foster Care: A new campaign launched this weekend from Every Child (a statewide foster care support partner in Oregon) to provide immediate food and care necessities for kids in foster care and the families that support them. Every Child got government approval for their 36 drop-off sites to be included as an ‘essential service’ so that volunteers are able to travel to drop off care items. Participate here or learn more.
  • Medical: Due to the lack of medical masks, volunteers in Washington state are making medical masks for healthcare providers. You can currently donate to the cause, and hopefully this effort will expand to other states soon. Find out more here.
  • Neighboring: Join your Next Door app, Volunteer Movement, Flourish app, or your local neighborhood Facebook page to learn of volunteer opportunities and needs of your neighbors in your neighborhood.
  • Ministry: Humanitarian Disaster Institute and National Association of Evangelicals will be holding a webinar every Friday at 12 PM CT for the unforeseeable future on Preparing Your Church for the Coronavirus. During these webinars they will be sharing research, resources, and essential tools for churches during this public health crisis. You can sign up for the webinars here.

EVANGELISM

  • During a Christ Together webinar they asked the question, “What opportunity for the Gospel does C-19 have in North America?” to which Ed Stetzer responded, “We don’t need to be opportunistic, but we need to seize every opportunity to serve and love your neighbor because no one is going to object to that. We love our neighbors by not meeting with people. We love our neighbor when we ask the question ‘What can we do?’ Go to your neighbors and ask them ‘How can we pray for you and what do you need?’
  • This is a perfect opportunity to ask your neighbor if they would like to join you for your online church to hear a hopeful message. If you can’t host them in person, offer to watch with them virtually through Zoom and share your screen so you can watch together!
  • Our team at Luis Palau Association has created a new website in response to COVID-19 filled with inspiring videos and blog posts to encourage us during this time. There is even an opportunity for people to respond to the hope of Jesus on here.

PRAYER

  • 24/7 Prayer is inviting everyone to participate in some form of non-stop prayer from March 16th to April 12th. You can access a sign-up calendar and resources to encourage you and others in prayer here.
  • (TS) Portland, Oregon churches are taking citywide prayer online. Every Wednesday at 12:00 PM PT a different pastor from around the city will lead listeners through a time of prayer on Facebook and Instagram Live for 30 minutes. Join or see how they format it here.
  • City Church Network in Arkansas has created a Coronavirus Prayer Guide leads you through guided prayer for our country, world, those who are sick, medical professionals, and more.

CHURCH ONLINE

  • Free sermon streaming platforms are being utilized by churches around the world. Have you heard of Free Online Church or Church Online Platform?
  • Churches in Portland, Oregon that have digital media teams are helping smaller churches film their services with their equipment. If you know of a church who has the resource to put their services online and another that doesn’t, help them to collaborate so people are not missing church.
  • Easter is around the corner and we will likely still be meeting online with our church. Stadia Church Planting is hosting a webinar on how to celebrate Easter during Coronavirus as well as hosting online meetings with pastors to share ideas and best practices; watch the webinar here and access additional Stadia resources during C19 here.
  • (TS) Another Easter opportunity we learned of was started by a church in Wisconsin. They are encouraging every believer in the US to sing Christ has Risen Today at 12:15 PM on Easter Sunday, April 12th. Sing on your porch, out your window, wherever you may be, so that the world would know we are united. Learn more here.

Phew! That is a lot of resources. Know of something we missed? Message us at info@citygospelmovements.org. We are praying for you.

Your City Gospel Movements team,

Kevin, Stephanie, Lizzie, and Kaedyn

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