The pandemic has changed the way of doing ministries and Wall UMC did this one person at a time, one meal at a time, one phone call at a time and one social distanced gathering at a time.
We didn’t just maintain our missions, we adapted to change and created ways to better serve our church and community. We focused on those living alone, shut-ins, and those impacted financially.
Church members started to make food at their homes to bring to those who lived alone, shut-ins and those who, prior to the pandemic, depended on their meals from nearby restaurants and were no longer able to go out to eat.
This morphed into a core of church members gathering in our large church kitchen, practicing social distancing while cooking meals and then delivering dinners to individual doors every Friday throughout the entire pandemic to 20 friends and families of the church. This began the first week of the pandemic in March and continues to this day and is now called “The Friday Dinner.”
We shopped for groceries, essential items, and we visited from afar. We wrote notes, we made phone calls, and we learned how to Zoom! We had meetings via Zoom, knitting via Zoom, and a bible study via Zoom!
We followed worship attendance guidelines and closed our house of worship when directed. We then had online services, which continued as we once again followed guidelines when returning to limited in-house services. And we continue to do this with many of the congregation coming back to in-house services as vaccines become more readily available.
Our congregation donated to our scholarship fund because we value education and our youth.
Our church organist continued to play and also added to her role as church secretary, helping our pastor in reaching out to our church family, doing the weekly bulletin, and editing the newsletter.
A church member volunteered her time to maintain our encouragement board in front of the church bringing the messages of hope and a sprinkle of humor with her clever notes.
Our “little church that could” supported an event by collecting non-perishable foods for St. Luke UMC’s food pantry. While at the same time, we collected food for West Belmar UMC’s Food Pantry.
We revived our church newsletter and circulated the newsletter via e-mail. We fed local residents living in motels during the holidays. With the help of a United Methodist Church grant, we helped three single parent families in our community with a monetary donation for food and utilities for five months. We maintain our cemetery and cleaned out an entire wooded area on our property.
All of this would not be possible without the faithful dedication of our congregation members who are always so willing to help.