This Easter season has been an unusual one for the Church, as the biggest service of the year was broadcasted online into millions of households across the nation. Shifting sermons and worship to online platforms is only one way that local churches have focused their resources during the COVID-19 crisis. Many churches of all sizes and denominations are rising to meet local needs. This week we spoke with three congregations who have been playing a part in serving our community.
Serving the Southeast
Supplies donated to the Southeast Supply Drive
One of the major ways that local churches are helping to contribute is through the Southeast Supply Drive. The SupplyDrive is aimed towards making resources more accessible to those who live inSoutheast Colorado Springs. Chauncey LaBrie with Solid Rock Christian Center & WeighOut Ministries spoke about the Supply Drive: “We’ve organized drop off locations at local churches to make it easier for community members to donate items. We’ve received a lot of toiletries, cleaning supplies, and over-the-counter medications.” The Southeast Supply Drive is an example of collaboration all across Colorado Springs. Harrison School District 2 has opened up school campuses to use both as storage and distribution sites, local churches are pooling resources to donate and deliver supplies in the Southeast through the 2-1-1 hotline, and food is provided through local nonprofits like Care and Share and Crossfire Ministries. “They’re very grateful; a lot of thanks and a lot of love is shown when people receive what they need,” said LaBrie. “Colorado Springs has stepped up to the plate and we are unified in this crisis situation.”
Volunteers picking up groceries for a neighbor
First Presbyterian Church is a larger church in the downtown area who has been participating in meeting 2-1-1 emergency hotline calls. Laura Mueller, Coordinator of Mission Engagement, talked about the process of connecting needs of the city to volunteers in the congregation: “We created a form which volunteers can fill out on our website. COSILoveYou sends me a need and I connect it with someone on that list.” Many of these call-ins have been for immediate grocery needs. Some volunteers pick up boxes from Crossfire Ministries, while others buy their own groceries. The volunteers at First Pres are not only responding to the physical immediate needs, but the relational piece as well. “In times of crisis we appreciate the gift of life, so volunteers are using their ability to go out and buy groceries to celebrate that and build relationships,” said Mueller.
Easter Eggs and Donations
Pastor John Serio of Springs Journey Church shared the many different ways his congregation is serving the community. Normally their biggest outreach around Easter is through a community Easter egg hunt, which saw 500 participants last year. This year, Springs Journey made bags of Easter goodies and dropped them off at homes, along with extra bags to pass on to neighbors with prizes and candy. “It’s just another way to connect with our neighbors on Easter,” said Serio. Springs Journey also has a partnership with Care Portal. The church has responded to over 16 requests with an economic impact of almost $6,000 in clothes, food, beds, laptops, diapers, wipes, and kids’ clothes. “It’s a joy to bless others, even when we’re uncertain of the future,” said Serio. “People have responded tremendously. I’m blown away by the generous, caring community in Colorado Springs.”
A Generous Church
LaBrie picking up groceries for neighbors
COSILoveYou sits at the intersection of the Church and the city, and we are seeing the importance of this partnership more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. In every way possible, we look forward to demonstrating, celebrating, and deploying the incredible resources of the local Church to meet needs in our city. LaBrie spoke about the Church’s role in times of great need: “I think this crisis has forced the Church to step up and step outside our walls and to really see and recognize the call to love our neighbors. We’re seeing the greater need and responding, whether the doors are open or not!” If there are places that your local church has stepped up to meet needs, please let us know so we can tell the story!
For an up-to-date list of resources for serving Colorado Springs during the COVID-19 crisis, CLICK HERE.