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In a time of distress, help is available

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. -- Matthew 7:7

Covid19 has disrupted our lives and convulsed our routines, and now, nine months into this crisis, many of us could use some help. For some, the help is a simple technology issue: How to get Zoom to work in order to connect with my friends. For others, each day is becoming a battle with depression. Yet, help is available, it comes in many forms, and it can begin simply by asking.

We know that there is hunger in the community. Our church cosponsored a free food distribution earlier this month in which 600 meals were given away in less than 30 minutes. If your finances have eroded to the point your wondering how to afford to eat, remember that Faith has relationships with two food shelves in the area, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf (2544 Mounds View Blvd., Mounds View; call 651-621-6280 to schedule an appointment) and N.E.E.D. (2727 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, 612-789-1512). If meal delivery is a concern, Faith has been a long-time supporter of Meals On Wheels (612-277-2529).

Many of us sorely are missing the fellowship that we enjoyed with each other and are longing for ways to find a replacement. Faith has set up a couple of "round robin" groups that meet via Zoom on a regular basis. If you'd like to join one of those groups or set up a new group with your Faith friends, contact Janet Johnson or Peg Cooper, who organized the initial groups, or call the church office.

Spiritual fellowship is also a need, and Pastor Nancy has created a prayer group. It meets Thursday evenings at 6:30, and you can take part either via Zoom or using your phone to call into the gathering. Contact Pastor Nancy to get included.

While Zoom has become a way of life for many people in these times, we know that there are some members who don't know how to use it. The Boy Scouts at Faith have volunteered to help our members with basic technology questions, including how to set up and use a Zoom account. If you need technology help, call the church office at ask Pam to put a Boy Scout in touch with you. If a Scout is assisting you in your home, remember to wear your mask.

(Remember, in this time of social distancing, the church office is staffed on an irregular basis. If no one is there to take your call, please leave a message for Pastor Jeff, Pastor Nancy or Pam. Those voice-mail messages are then forwarded to them automatically via email, so that he or she can return your call without having to be in the church office.)

Remember, too, that there is help available beyond the church. The United Way's 211 service provides free and confidential health and human services information. By calling 211, you can talk with someone who will connect you to the information and resources that you need.

And pastoral care is important in this time of tribulation.  Both Pastor Jeff and Pastor Nancy are resources you should feel free to call upon. Remember that Pastor Nancy, before she came to Faith, was a mental health practitioner for years and has particular experience working with children and youth. Don't hesitate to call on them if you sense the need for pastoral care. Let them know of your prayer needs.

Above all, stay safe, stay healthy, and look forward to the time when we once again can worship together.