By Staff Reports
NASHVILLE, TN — There are some churches that are closed, some functioning by the web, and others functioning with active virtual schedules and outreach activities. Fairfield M. B. Church reached out to the Women’s Mission on Rosa Parks recently, servicing more than 100 residents and families. Pastor Howard Jones, senior pastor of Fairfield said, “These are the times when churches should be strong in these uncomfortable and challenging situations. 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 are suffering from loneliness and depression. 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 carrying out their activities.
“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 effort to reach out,” the dynamic pastor added. Members of
Pounding4Change, the Together Movement and individuals helped to make the Women’s Mission event successful. Food was provided by Kingdom Café & Grill and individual supporters One bystander said, “This was so good for the women here, they need some hope and Pastor Jones and his team provided it.”
Another church, Greater Bethel A. M.E. located 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 provided the opportunity for various churches, organizations and individuals to come together and support those in need of some special ’love’ which is what we must do,” said Rev. Walter Reid, pastor of Greater Bethel. The food boxes included milk, meats and other staples. One Bethel member said, “This is just what I needed.” Because of COVID-19, there is an increasing number of churches carrying out unique activities to help those 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. They plan Christmas Caroling during the holidays.
“We are not there yet, in doing all we must do, however we are working toward that goal. 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 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 of society 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.