What we are doing as a Church
In the days since lockdown started we have seen many different responses and initiatives launch to help those around us. Here is an outline of what we, as Connect Church are doing:
Connect Solidarity Fund
The solidarity fund is the one appeal we are making that enables us to make a combined effort to help both our own people who will be affected and also channel some support through organizations who have geared themselves up to help the wider community they serve in. We know this is going to be more like a marathon and not a sprint, which means being wise in the way in which we respond. Our concern is that we don’t end up with ‘compassion fatigue’ at the very time we are most needing all the help we can give!
Please consider giving to this fund while you are still able. When the Lord made it known there were going to be seven years of plenty and seven lean years, Joseph put aside resources to see the people through the difficult years that lay ahead. We are yet to see the full extent and effect of the lockdown on people’s finances; this will only become more evident in the next three to four weeks.
A wise plan of action
Right now there are many different appeals coming in from many different organizations, and it might appear as though Connect is slow in responding. From day one we have been anticipating the fall-out that will happen and have been carefully investigating what the best response will be. We are networking extensively, while being aware that we need to respond timeously. With the resources we have at our disposal, we want to be wise in the way we respond. There are some very creative ideas emerging that will help the most vulnerable while at the same time prevent any further spread of the virus.
Access to government/ private funding
Both government and the private sector have made funds available for small and medium enterprises, but the challenge is often accessing these funds. We will make all the links available to those who would like to apply as a first response to acquiring financial aid. The Connect Solidarity Fund will not be able to carry these costs; it is anticipated that they would be used to meet the basic needs to keep people going for the next few months.
The early church met together as a large group and also in homes. People were willing to sell property to help those who were the poorest. This is the kind of spirit we would love to see emerging in our church. Existing life groups are already small connected communities that can reach out to one another to give both spiritual and financial support to those who they have relationships with.
Ministry Opportunity for Care
There are many of our older members who are in lockdown on their own at this time with no access to social media networks. A great ministry opportunity is here for all those who enjoy connecting with others. If you would be keen to “adopt” someone to call regularly to encourage them and just be a friendly connection in this time of isolation then please be in touch with Shelley Smuts.
Keeping you updated
As concrete plans are put in place, we will alert you to ways in which the church is responding and how you can get involved. We anticipate creating ways in which people may apply for assistance from the church and fill you in on our broader response to the wider community.
Once again, please consider making a sacrificial gift now; our corporate response will always be determined by our individual response.
Acts 4:34-35 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.