Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)- There are some churches that are closed, some functioning by the web, and others functioning with active virtual schedules. Fairfield M. B. Church reached out to the Women’s Mission on Rosa Parks this past Saturday, feeding more than 100 residents and families. Pastor Howard Jones, senior pastor of Fairfield said, “These are the times when churches should be strong during these uncomfortable challenging times. Though we must practice safety protocols by wearing gloves, masks and safe distancing, prayer is the major covering.”

Mental illness is on the rise throughout the nation because of COVID-19. Young people, middle-aged and especially seniors. Life as we knew it before March, 2020, with gatherings and interaction have changed for the near future and individuals, as well as organizations have to be more creative in reaching their goals.

“We are still doing ministry, said Pastor Jones, COVID-19 has put us in a new normal, however, it does not mean we do nothing. We can’t quit. We just have to be creative and make special efforts to reach out,” the dynamic pastor added. Members of Pounding4Change, the Together Movement and individuals helped to make the event successful. One bystander said, “This was so good for the women here, they need some hope and Pastor Jones and his team provided it.”

Additionally, Greater Bethel A. M.E. Church in South Nashville did a love outreach on Saturday, Nov. 21 and distributed food boxes to more than 40 members that included seniors and those who are staying out of public. The boxes were part of the program sponsored by Dr. Jacqueline Mitchell, a dentist in Nashville, with the distribution site at Lee Chapel A. M. E. Church in North Nashville.

“This activity of various churches and organizations coming together to support those in need of some special ’love’ is what we must do,” said Rev. Walter Reid, pastor of Greater Bethel. The food boxes were inclusive of milk, meats and other staples. One Bethel member said, “This is just what I needed.” There is an increasing number of churches doing unique activities in the community.

Fairfield has been reaching out to its seniors on a continuous basics, especially since March with activities ranging from a Caravan of Love by visiting seniors and singing and praising in their front lawns, delivering care packages and now taking care of the women at the mission.

“We are not there yet, in doing all we must do, however we are planning. Instead of crying and falling down, we should be standing strong. Instead of quitting, we must press forward. Kindness starts with us,” said Pastor Jones. Experts in the medical and science fields say, though there is an apparent vaccine, it will be a while before we can see some real results in our communities. Therefore, this new normal, is our lifestyle for the foreseeable future.

Tonya Beaird Lowe, one of the coordinators of the program and President of the Addie Primm Johnson Women’s Missionary Society at Greater Bethel said “We were so blessed to reach out to our members. They just needed some loving presence and to know someone cared.”

Contrary to popular culture, Pastor Jones explained, we as Christians must exemplify a counter-culture to the norms and mores and not submit to the culture of the world. “Having a presence of kindness is a survival tool for such a time as this,” said Pastor Jones.