Essential Workers Feted With Encouraging Words, Gifts
Recognition from Calvary Cares ministry also a boost for community’s small businesses
Calvary UMC in Paris, Texas, saw need in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic for a ministry of encouragement with essential workers in the community. These include those who are part of the food-supply system working at the Campbell's Soup plant and grocery stores, workers at Paris Regional Medical Center as well as first responders providing police, fire and ambulance services. These workers are some of the most visible but often unrecognized essential workers in the community.
The essential workers have been under severe stress as this pandemic has stretched on, as some have lost income because part-time work is no longer available. There is increased anxiety in the community, and a tendency to express frustration at essential workers who are powerless to change the reality of the current situation.
With the help of a Rural Missional Response Grant of $1,000 from the Center for Missional Outreach, the Calvary Cares ministry was developed. This creative effort provides encouragement and expressions of thanks to some of the essential workers in the community while supporting struggling small local businesses.
Calvary Cares purchases gift certificates, cards and small gifts from local businesses to give to front-line workers as a demonstration of support and gratitude. The gifts will be used to provide a meal or appreciation gift delivered to workers.
“One of the ways we make Christ known in our community is by supporting those who are risking their lives to provide for us,” Pastor Tim Marks said. “These often under-appreciated and unrecognized individuals need encouragement. Each gift will include an expression of love and appreciation offered in Christ's name.
“We want our essential workers to know Calvary Cares about them. We want them to know that there are congregations in our community which are on a mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Practically speaking, each volunteer is given a script to help communicate a message of encouragement and invitation despite the difficulties of the pandemic. Every gift includes a “Calvary Cares” business card with web address, worship schedule and contact information for follow-up opportunities to worship or learn more.
Published: Monday, July 6, 2020