For our diocese, one of the hardest consequences of sheltering in place was the suspension of many services to our less fortunate neighbors. Church members bemoaned the fact that Showers of Blessings, food distribution, and other similar efforts needed to wait until the pandemic passes us by. That is because our diocese is deeply committed to serving our neighbors, and many Christians are itching to be doers of the Word while keeping physically away from their neighbors.
The diocese’s Advocacy Committee has discussed ways to help you help others, and here are a few suggestions to help you feel empowered as disciples during this challenging time:
Donate to a food bank. As unemployment skyrockets, requests for food are rising. In San Diego County, you can donate to San Diego Food Bank or Community Christian Service Agency. In desert communities, you can donate to Find Food Bank.
Donate to ECS. Episcopal Community Services is still operating three essential services during Shelter in Place protocols, and our donations are needed more than ever.
Advocate for systemic change. The Episcopal Public Policy Network and the Office of Government Relations help us to advocate with our nation’s leaders on a variety of policies supported by The Episcopal Church. You can sign up for action alerts on health care, affordable housing, creation care, and more.
Follow social media on issues you care about. Becoming informed about issues and discerning how God wishes you to act is a cornerstone of Christian advocacy. Social media pages and groups are the first to promote important government hearings on issues, offer simple actions you can do, and more. For example, the Facebook page Homeless News San Diego publicizes when the County Board of Supervisors is debating an affordable housing initiative. The Facebook group called Immigration Reform keeps you abreast of immigration news. If you’re concerned about the stewardship of God’s creation, consider Episcopal Creation Care or The Sierra Club’s “Explore Issues” page.
With the power of the Internet and social media, staying home doesn’t mean we must stay silent or do nothing. As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, we hope the Holy Spirit fires you up to be the Church however you can with the spiritual and material gifts God has given you.
The Rev. Janine Schenone, Rector
Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego
Chair, Advocacy Committee
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