The faith-based community is a tightly knit one. It’s hard to take away from the incredible benefits that faith and a community-based service can do for your family and loved ones. The communal spirit of the church is very important, but its presence in churchgoer’s lives may have wavered during these past months as we are forced to spend time apart from one another due to the coronavirus and social distancing measures that ultimately protect our health and the wellbeing of our community. Here are few ways to keep the church at the center of the community, despite these trying times.
Keep the community spirit at the heart of your efforts.
Many church organizers like yourself are asking how to make a difference in your community. It’s a tough question with most of us requiring a new measure of distance that makes communal activities difficult to plan and execute. But the church is uniquely positioned to continue acting as a fountainhead of spiritual and communal guidance for those hurting from the effects of the virus as well as the troubles of daily life. A parish, after all, is a local community seeking a spiritual mentor to guide their activism and spiritual growth. This begins with the certificate of baptism and continues as we grow through these sacraments and stages of life into adulthood.
The church is a powerful communicator of moral responsibility and provides us with a safe space to grow and think about our lives and the impacts we have on those around us. It is first and foremost a communal space that brings together people of all walks of life under the singular banner of faith. Whether you are the priest of your parish or simply a volunteer looking for a great way to help those around you through the efforts of the church, keeping your head and your heart grounded in the community atmosphere of the church’s reach is essential.
Direct assistance from churchgoers makes all the difference.
Setting up a food bank, delivering groceries to at-risk people who need to maintain social distancing measures more than others, and raising money for church projects that improve the entire community are all easy ways to get involved in building a better place to live. The church is a perfectly designed system for mobilizing hundreds of volunteers in this effort. Church leaders have incredible sway over their community when seeking to organize relief efforts or donations because this is the core function of the church, so nearly every member will jump at the opportunity to help those in their community with greater needs.
Church functions are designed to improve community ties by bringing together faithful members for community cleanup events or donation drives for the local shelter. These types of events are in keeping with the generosity taught by Jesus as he conveyed the story of God to his own followers. Finding solace in the faith-based community in your local area can give you this same sense of peace and purpose and make your own hardships as a result of lockdowns and additional health precautions far less impactful. Encourage your community to participate in random acts of kindness — this is an excellent way to foster connection and boost morale. Thinking about your own faith and placing trust in God’s plan is a great way to bring yourself and your family to a better place mentally as you navigate the frustration of daily life under the new regulations.
In this way, the church remains so important in our daily lives. Whether we can participate in mass in person or not, the spiritual peace brought on by engagement with faith plays a huge role in carrying on even when the world feels as if it were about to fall apart. Think about your own community involvement and consider volunteering more with your church in order to provide these same benefits to others in your community that you gain from the church every day.