You just might have heard schools are closed, march madness was cancelled, and the NBA season is suspended. As a response some of you might have already started taking notes on The Walking Dead, I am Legend, or Planet of the Apes in preparation for the coming days. While many of you may be wondering when will all this hogwash will be done and over with. No matter what camp you are in its important to follow the guidelines of the CDC, WHO, and your local health department so that we can maintain the greatest amount of safety for all people.
One recommendation is social distancing. This refers to actions taken by the public to slow or stop the spread of a contagious disease. This can be cancelling events, avoiding mass gatherings, maintaining distance from others, and closing businesses, etc. These measures may seem extensive however taking extra safety measures counters the unknown of a contagious disease such as Covid-19.
Community of Christ has suspended all church gatherings for 3 weeks as part of this preventative measure to ensure safety of all people. However we do offer online worship groups if you are interested. Please visit Community of Christ Online Ministries.
12 Ways to Connect During Social Distancing
It’s important we maintain connection and community during social distancing. So how do that when we are isolating in our homes. Here are some community building ideas to maintain connection with others in these trying times. Remember there are people that live by themselves that will need connection now more than ever.
1. Video Interface/ Phone calls - Technology rocks! We have ample ways to stay connected to others through Skype, FaceTime, Facebook live, Zoom, etc. Schedule bedtime stories with grandparents, coffee time, kids play dates, or just time to chat with friends.
2. Text Messaging - Though it does not have the same effect it does keep us in communication. Text often! Check in on people. Those close to you and those you haven’t talked with in years. Think about those by themselves and reach out.
3. Social Media - When used appropriately, aka not arguing, pushing political agendas, or sharing inaccurate information, social media can be a way to stay connected. The key is to be personal with others responding to posts or just checking in on people you haven’t seen for awhile.
4. Spiritual Practices - Times like this can deepen our spiritual journey if we focus on it. Take time daily to engage in a spiritual practice. Allow yourself to find God as we need to make that connection. Unsure what to do? Check out all the spiritual practices we have blogged about.
5. Write a letter/ card - Everyone loves getting something personal in the mail or through email. In a time like this we need to share our thoughts and feelings with others. There are tons of websites to help with virtual cards and anyone can send an email or direct message through Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat or other social media form.
6. Video Games - Gaming actually provides a network for people to do something in common together online. It can be a great device to stay entertained and make some fun moments while conquering a planet or overcoming a legendary boss.
7. Car Coffee - Brew your own coffee and then drive to meet your friend at a location. Each can remain in there car with the windows down if not comfortable getting out at a place in nature.
8. Virtual Book Club/ Film Study - Create a virtual book club or film review group to meet regularly to talk and socialize. It gives you a good reason to finish that book or movie you have been wanting to watch.
9. Cook and Share - This is great time to cook those chocolate blueberry muffins you have been wanting to bake. Make sure you are using good hygiene practices when cooking to ensure cleanliness. This means wash your hands and fight off the temptation to stick your finger in the batter to sample it. If you can be clean in the cooking and packaging process share them with your neighbor or a friend who is on their own. Place it on their porch and leave a little note.
10. Sing with Others - You May have seen videos from Italy and others where people began singing together on their balconies. Music can unite us and bring joy to our souls. If you find yourself in a similar situation maybe your singing or music will start the connection with others.
11. Be in Nature - This is great opportunity to become connected to the sacredness of creation. Go walk, hike, climb, or run. Open your eyes and observe the beauty. Listen to the cacophony of sounds. Identify yourself as just a piece of the larger creation. Connect to creation.
12. Donate - There are many great causes out there needing to push through during this time. Find one important cause to you and give money.
Remember we are in this together! I hope these suggestions may help you and others you know stay connected during this social distancing.
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This week reach out to someone and let them know you are thinking about them.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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