by Tom Sine
Thank God for Christians in many countries who are creating innovative ways to respond to the many challenges that their neighbors are facing as we are dealing with the challenges of this global pandemic.
On this site, we are celebrating the differences that new change-makers are making locally and globally.
Last week, we introduced you a Presbyterian pastor, Morgan Schmidt. She is a friend of ours as well as a friend to her professor, Dwight Friesen. As you will remember, she created a new electronic network called Pandemic Partners to reach out to neighbors that post a need or challenges they are facing. Do let us know if you or your friends have created a network like Pandemic Partners where you live and what kind of a difference it is making in the lives of your neighbors.
Celebrating Tiny House Village in Seattle
A growing number of our neighbors are going to need more than a call from friends or shopping for older neighbors as important as that is. This daunting Pandemic that is making so many people sick and at latest count over 50,000 Americans have lost their lives. This destructive Pandemic is going to be followed by a huge title wave of a major recession.
One of the consequences of the beginnings of this economic downturn is that some people have already started losing their homes. Some will be able to move in with family or friends. However, many others will join the rapidly growing homeless populations in all our cities. Seattle has already started moving people out of the existing homeless encampments out of crowded settlements were they are in danger of contracting the virus into vacant motels where they can do some distancing.
Citizens in Seattle recently received a Civil Emergency Proclamation regarding the growing housing crisis announce by Mayor Jenny Durkan. Numbers of business leaders and people in Seattle are responding to this crisis. Remarkably, even one church was among those who stepped up.
Willie C. Seals Jr., who is the pastor of Christ Spirit Church, has worked with others in the community to construct a 28-unit T.C. Spirit Village in the Central District on property owned by the church. The new site also includes a community kitchen, a hygiene building, a laundry and a security office. They will partner with Cheif Seattle Club and the Seattle Indian Health Center. The Village receives operational support from the Seattle Human Services Department.
Is it possible that your church could also create innovative ways to respond not only the impact of the Corona Pandemic but also the impact of the coming economic recession as well? For example, could your church use its property to construct low-income housing? Or would you have some land to create a generous space for a community garden? Do let us know how God ignites your imagination to be a new change-maker in times like these.
(Photo from upslash.com, not a photo of the T.C. Spirit Village)
2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change that will be released in September 2020 by Fortress Press.