Although we are still facing much uncertainty on a daily basis, we are beginning to see new temporary routines forming for many, providing a strange sense of normalcy. As a church we want to remember that there are still many in need who we can be supporting in more ways than one. We are doing our best to adapt and grow in order to meet the current needs of our community.
Here are some of the practical ways we are here to support you, and how you can get involved in supporting the community:
– We have heard from many who have posted messages on their streets, inviting neighbours to join a WhatsApp group to provide help (food drops, online shopping, phone calls) for the elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating. A group can also enable wider community initiatives e.g. collecting donated food from our neighbours for delivery to a local Food Bank. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on such a group or related ideas.
– A brilliant team – a third of whom are ACT community members – have been working hard to produce 65 hot meals a day (nearly 500 a week) to give out just outside church. Food provision by other organisations in the city has largely stopped, but with the help of chef Celia and many from the church, ACT is keeping people fed. If you would like to pray for the work of ACT or volunteer with the emergency food provision, please do not hesitate to email email@example.com.
– A postgraduate group are making food runs for elderly residents in the Pegasus Grange Retirement Home on the Abingdon Road. Contact Christopher.Landau@staldates.org.uk
–For those of us who would like to offer to serve more widely, we can register with The Oxford Hub, an excellent community initiative which co-ordinates ‘community champions to support vulnerable members of society with small acts of kindness as the public health situation develops’.
– Let’s pray for the medics and those working in the health, emergency and social services in our church at this time. If we know them, though, we can also ask if they need practical support, particularly in relation to provision for other members of their families. They are working extremely long hours and many are facing difficult decisions on a daily basis.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'