by Tom Sine
We have just witnessed one of the most divisive elections in America’s history.
I am particularly concerned at how divisive this election has been for those of Christian faith. Now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been elected as president and vice president, whatever our political views, we as Christians need to find ways to work together for changes that promote the common good.
I urge Christians from all traditions to reach out in a spirit of love to those who voted differently than you did. We all need to also pray that God will give President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wisdom as they seek to lead this country for all Americans in these difficult times.
I also urge Christians, in all our communities, to start gathering with church members and neighbors, not to discuss political differences, but rather to start working together on how to reduce the increasing COVID contagion, illness and death of a projected December Pandemic Crisis!
All churches need to start planning with community leaders, before Thanksgiving, to consider important steps to reduce the threat of this new Pandemic Crisis:
- Consider a “virtual” celebration in your own family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year as in the example that AARP describes in my last post;
- Encourage your church and leaders in your community to contact the CDC and secure some of the resources they offer to communities to more effectively address some of the concerning challenges with COVID-19 coming our way this winter.
Since I wrote that post on a virtual Thanksgiving, Christine and I have decided to have a Zoom Thanksgiving to avoid gatherings in our home unless we are able to gather out of doors with masks. Christine and I are going to celebrate a Zoom Thanksgiving with her nephew and wife and their two preschoolers in Australia. We will not only plan to visit as we eat but will also plan some activities after the meal by way of Zoom. “As Thanksgiving approaches, this might be the first major holiday in which families hold a beloved traditional meal together via an online teleconference, rather than around the same table, which ups the stakes for hosts.”
There is a real danger that Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings in 2020 could become contagion sites for spreading the Coronavirus to our dearest family and friends. The reason for this warning is that we seem to have lost control of the vicious pandemic in the United States as we head into the holidays.
Waking up to a Pandemic Crisis as we race into the holiday season 2020!
As of November 5, more than 9.6 million people across every state, Washington DC and four territories have tested positive for the virus, more than 235,000 with the virus have died.
With coronavirus cases surging across the country, we’re solidly in the midst of a “third wave of COVID-19, which is shaping up to be the worst yet. Last week alone, the U.S. saw a staggering half a million new cases, and more than 20 states reported record daily levels. On Thursday, the daily caseload reportedly topped 115,000-116,707 new infections.”
Connecting Your Churches and Community to the CDC
Given the growing COVID-19 as race into the holiday season we urge you and leaders in your church or community organizations to contact the CDC and invite them to show your community to create a process to both:
- Identify the ways COVID-19 is projected to spread in your community
- Learn from connecting to leaders in the CDC how your community, can join communities all over the US, in developing practical ways to enable people to reduce exposure as well as secure help when they may need it.
Here are some practical instructions the CDC has posted to help communities anywhere in the United States to reduce the vulnerability of people where you live. Read what they offer. Then if you and others in your community feel these resources might be valuable for your community as we head into a very concerning winter, contact the CDC and they will explain how to secure their good help.
“As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers the following considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Because COVID-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.”
With coronavirus cases surging across the country, we are solidly in the “CBOs (community-based organizations) work at the local level to meet community needs. They include social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and formal and informal community groups, like neighborhood groups or recreational or special-interest clubs. Depending on the nature of their work, a CBO’s stakeholders may include volunteers, members, clients, supporters, patrons, program participants, and event attendees.
These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which organizations must comply. CBOs can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. CBOs should continually assess, based on current conditions, how to modify their operations and programming to both advance their mission and protect their staff and stakeholders.
CBOs may also benefit from reviewing CDC’s COVID-19 information focused on workplaces, events and gatherings, food service providers, youth sports, youth and summer camps, childcare programs, and people at higher risk of severe illness.”
If you, your church, and community draw on the resources of the CDC, as we head into a more risky winter, we would welcome learning what resources you drew on and the difference it made in your own live and those in your community. Email me with your responses.