Our people need us now more than ever!
Things have changed drastically for our communities within the last few days. Many of our favorite places to gather with friends and neighbors have shut down for our safety and our favorite weekly rhythms have been replaced with indoor games/activities…hope you like Monopoly!
It’s really challenged me to reconsider our idea of “community.”
How do we use this time to intentionally connect?
Is it possible that we could actually go deeper with our friends and neighbors even while maintaining a distance?
Here are some ideas that we have tried or have seen others do to keep up with people and feel less alone.
Ideas for our communities
Agree upon a podcast to listen to and then plan a Facetime date to dialogue about it
Facetime to talk, pray together, share your fears
Processing your fears with others is healthy. Verbal processing allows the emotion-driven side of your brain to link with the logic-driven side. This practice creates harmony in your brain and harmony for your body. Friends can be a sounding board for your stories and fears.
Write letters/send care packages
This is a great idea for friends with kids. We have stickers and balloons stored up in our basement so sending some fun in the mail brightens their day and gives parents something fun to do with their kids inside.
Share your resources
You have extra? Extra food, extra paper goods, or extra time? Share what you have.
Drive around town to friends’ homes and chat from the street
Have a dance competition
With your roommates, family or cat…create a fun dance video and submit it to a group of friends. Have one person judge which one is there favorite. Don’t forget to mail a prize to the winner!
Start a book club, exercise club, learn how to play the guitar club and conference call your progress
Marco Polo anyone? My favorite video messaging app
Gather outside (6 feet away from one another) and sing worship songs together
Is your church hosting service online? Ask friends who live alone to participate in worship with you via video call
Invite friends to dinner via video call
Ideas for our neighbors
Drop off handwritten notes.
In a time of fear and isolation, write an encouraging note (or have your kids color pictures) and leave them on doorsteps! We added GF cookies that were individually packaged with our notes and reminded neighbors we were available if they needed anything and we were praying God’s peace over them.
If this is the first time you are reaching out to a neighbor, introduce yourself, leave a phone number or your house number.
Our local libraries are closed and as an avid reader, I panicked! But was on a walk when I spotted my elderly neighbor reading on her porch. She shared my concern and so we offered looking through our bookshelves and dropping off books on one another’s porches.
Tip: If you have a free little library in your neighborhood, utilize it. Put a note on NextDoor and tell your neighbors you’re leaving some books.
Support Your Neighborhood Businesses
Local businesses are your neighbors too and many are going to need our support now more than ever. How we are doing our part? We’ve been sending flowers or ordering food from restaurants to send to friends. Not only do we benefit from take out, but sending a meal via take out to a friend is a huge energy saver when you have kids but want to help.
Offer to pick up groceries for elderly neighbors
Leave sidewalk chalk messages for people to find
Some final encouragement…
God is not surprised by our circumstances.
He has specifically made you to love the people in your area during this time.
Submitting our need to control the situation to God will gives us eyes to see where we can help and how we can love others.
Don’t forget to check in on your friends and family–especially those who live alone, those who struggle with mental health, and those who feel exhausted from balancing work and family from home.
As you love your people, use the hashtag: #youwerecreatedtoconnect so we can see your ideas, get new ones and be encouraged by each other’s stories.