As our lives, workplaces and churches have changed the way they operate in a world of COVID-19, Geoff Bice, Social Justice Consultant for the Uniting Church WA, shares how churches can continue to serve those who are vulnerable in our community.
Everyone is under pressure at the moment. As we all adapt to life in a pandemic situation we are mindful that the challenges are more acute for some people in our community.
The Uniting Church has always been concerned for the welfare of all people in our community and it is in such times of crisis that we are called to love our neighbour in both spiritual and practical ways. We think especially of those who are already in vulnerable circumstances who may be struggling to cope with the extra stressors.
So, we encourage everyone to be generous in this time, to reach out in safe ways to those in your community who may be doing it tough, and consider some of the following ways you can support those in need:
- Pop a letter like this into your neighbours’ letterboxes.
- Join your local #LoveYourNeighbour or similar Covid Community Care support group online.
- Sign the petition to ensure refugees and people seeking asylum are not made more vulnerable during the COVID-19 health crisis
- Sign the petition to ensure no migrant or temporary visa worker is left behind
- Sign the petition to guarantee paid special leave for all workers.
- You might consider being an emergency volunteer if you are in a position to safely do so through Volunteering WA, who are co-ordinating volunteers for essential community services.
Write or phone
- Contact your local State MP about releasing people from prison who are on remand or in a vulnerable group with non-violent allegations or offences to reduce risk of contagion, as advised in this open letter.
- Uniting Church members are encouraged to contact their local Members of Parliament to remind them of our duty to support the most vulnerable, particularly people on insecure visas who are facing destitution as a result of these circumstances. Click here for more details of what to write.
You can donate to organisations supporting people in urgent need like:
Please consider contributing to support the development work of our International partners. They are also struggling to deal with this crisis and have a very limited capacity to cope:
- Sri Lanka, donations can be made to:
Uniting Church in Australia
Reference: Sri Lanka Preschools
- Timor Leste, donations can be made to:
Uniting Church Investment Fund
Reference: ETimor 709647
- West Papua