FirstCovGR CARE Response

CARE FOR FIRSTCOVGR COMMUNITY & BEYOND DURING COVID-19

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self discipline. 

Many of us are asking what we can do to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. We believe that as the local church, we are positioned to mobilize together in a safe and special way during this time.

It’s our desire to protect the health of the general public as well as at-risk individuals by following federal and state-mandated guidelines. We also want to prioritize the basic needs of vulnerable people in both our church and community. The way you respond will be unique to your situation and that’s okay. There’s something we all can do on different levels.

Thanks to your continued generosity to our church, we have funds available that can be strategically deployed at times like this.  We encourage you to continue your regular giving by accessing firstcovgr.org/give or by simply mailing in your contribution. 

Plan to receive help or offer help and beyond …

BE A NEIGHBOR

We encourage you to look for ways to check on those in your neighborhood who may be at risk (, immune-compromised, children home from school, etc…). However, please first read recommendations from Kent County Department of Public Health for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for yourselves and others.

I NEED HELP

If you need help, please contact our Care Ministry Team by  emailing or calling either Ginger Mastaw at hmginger1@gmail.com; 616-893-7759 or Pat Peterson at walrus1933@gmail.com; 616-490-9207.

I CAN HELP

If you are able to help in any way with the needs that arise, not necessarily financially (although that is helpful also) but especially time, resources, and service,  again, please contact our Care Ministry Team through Ginger Mastaw hmginger1@gmail.com  and 616- 893-7759 or Pat Peterson at walrus1933@gmail.com; or 616-490-9207

We will try to respond as soon as possible, but if you have an emergency, please contact our office during office hours at 453-6346.  Our office hours during this challenging time are 9am to 4pm Monday through Thursday, 9am to 12noon Friday or email office@firstcovgr.org.

PRAY

During these times, one of the most important things we as Christians can be doing is praying. If you would like to share a more private prayer request, please email your request to office@firstcovgr.org.  If you are comfortable with a more public request so that others in our faith community can join you in praying, please connect with our prayer chain at firstcovprayer@gmail.com    

FIRSTCOV FOOD PANTRY

For the next 3 Mondays, (beginning March 23) from 12:30 to 2:30pm, we will be offering curbside pantry service to those in need. Bags will be prepared in advance and handed to people as they pull up. If you would be willing to help in the pantry during this time, so we can expand the hours, please email office@firstcovgr.org.  We also need to keep our pantry stocked.  If you could help with that, please drop off your donations (new, unopened, nonperishable) outside the doors of our main entrance during business hours and the staff will gather and place in the pantry.  As we anticipate a greater need for food and necessities, please don’t hesitate to begin helping us stock immediately.

(Office Hours; 9am-4pm Monday through Thursday, Friday, 9 am to 12 noon, address is 1933 Tremont Blvd, GR 49503). .

Lastly, as we ponder what this crisis presents to us as Christian believers, these thoughts.

Thoughts on COVID-19, by C.S. Lewis (who was actually writing about the atomic bomb in the 1940s)

“How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year; or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, and age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented; and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.  We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors – anesthetics; but we have that still.  It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. 

This is the first point to be made; and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

(From the book Present Concerns)

We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.

With servant’s hearts,

Your FirstCov Leadership Team, Pastors and Staff