In this new era of social/physical distancing, it is even more vital that we find safe ways to connect and stay connected. We must not allow our humanity to evade us. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "People don't care how much you unless they know how much you care."
With the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica, curfews, other confinement measures, loss of jobs and uncertainty for the future, many persons are struggling to cope. To address these concerns, the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CJC) has established the Ministry of Care and Compassion for all its members.
"We continue to engage our pastors and workers in the point message of care, compassion, concern, comfort, safety and love, to ensure that all members are accounted for and connected with from a headquarters of the church," said Pastor Levi Johnson, President, CJC.
According to President Johnson, we will begin the ministry with 3,000 names that have been assigned to different workers. He added that shut-ins (homebound members) are among those members that will be contacted.
"Based on data provided by the Community Services Department of the Conference, we have on record over 1,000 shut-ins. Most of these members are considered most vulnerable, and they will be among those who will be called, prayed for, counselled and offered Bible study upon request," said Johnson.
This ministry is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 4, 2020, with the Pastors leading the charge. "Licensed Pastors, Junior Pastors, Ministerial Interns, and Ministerial Graduates will each be assigned different names and are required to call at least 15 persons daily. Workers at the conference office will also be a part of this ministry and will call 3 to 5 members daily."
President Johnson was quick to point out that the calls are not to convert but rather to be a support. "All of us long to connect with someone who can identify with our situations and circumstances, empathize with our challenges, be completely non-judgmental, pray without ceasing, or just listen. The Ministry of Care of Compassion is for every member to know that someone is there for them," he said.
Pastor Johnson is hoping that extending the healing ministry of Jesus will ensure that after COVID-19, the church in Central Jamaica Conference, will be a far more caring church.