It was exciting and encouraging to see many of you come out to the church’s 200th birthday party drive-thru parade. It was an amazing day to celebrate God’s faithfulness to Second Baptist Church. During the parade, the church demonstrated its generosity and missional heart by donating over 160 bags of groceries for the Loaves & Fishes food pantry. As you know, during the pandemic, we have increased the amount of food that we provide through the Loaves & Fishes ministry, increased the distribution frequency to weekly (rather than semi-monthly), and our average participation has grown from 35 visitors to 90. Because you gave, we are able to keep on giving abundantly! Thanks, church!

As always, we encourage you to take prudent measures to guard your health, especially if you are at high risk, and we invite you to consider below some specific ways that you can pray, give, and go.

Pray

We welcome you to pray the prayer below, which we have found helpful, or to pray in your own words for our church, the wider community, and people around the world.

“Almighty and immortal God, giver of life and health:

We implore your mercy for those who are sick, that by your blessing upon them and upon those who minister to them with your healing gifts, they may be restored to health of body and mind, according to your gracious will, and may give thanks to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Increase, O God, the spirit of neighborliness among us, that in peril we may uphold one another, in suffering tend to one another, and in homelessness, loneliness, or exile befriend one another. Grant us brave and enduring hearts that we may strengthen one another, until the disciplines and testing of these days are ended, and you again give peace in our time; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ went about doing good, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people: Continue in our hospitals his gracious work among us; grant to the physicians, nurses, and assisting staff wisdom and skill, diligence and patience; prosper their work, O Lord, and send down your blessing upon all who serve the suffering; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

O Almighty God, you pour out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Adapted from Prayers in Time of Infectious Disease from the the North American Lutheran Church.

Give

 

With our Missions Partner For Richmond, we continue to support the Richmond City Department of Social Services (DSS) as they meet needs in Richmond. We have recently learned of a single aunt that will be taking in her niece through kinship care. There are many details we can’t disclose, but we can share this sweet girl (age 11) has been through SO much trauma in her short life and her aunt is an absolute HERO. During this difficult season, they are navigating and overcoming huge obstacles together. We can help by meeting some basic needs and alleviating some stress. 

We have put together an Amazon Wish List where you can directly purchase needed items and have them delivered to the church (c/o Katie Vance Lucas) OR you can donate toward any purchases by directly contacting Katie at kvancelucas@secondbaptistrva.org.
     
    Little Hands Virginia, operating out of our Education Building Basement, are meeting needs of families with young children in the Greater Richmond area. They are keeping all Richmond City food distribution sites stocked with diapers, wipes, formula, diaper cream, baby soaps & lotions, and baby food.
    They are in particular need of these items:
    • Diapers (all sizes, particularly sizes 4 & 5)
    • Baby wipes
    • Target gift cards to purchase items as more needs arise
    You can drop off purchased items at Second Baptist Church in the bin located outside the education building, Monday through Friday from 9a.m.-5p.m.
    If you do not wish to go out to purchase items but still want to contribute, follow our AMAZON WISH LIST to have things shipped directly to church and we will get the items where they need to go!

    Go

     

    We are continuing to reach out to “frontliners” – the workers in our nursing facilities, hospitals, and other healthcare and emergency locations – by providing meals, snacks, and other goodies. Please help us by praying for them and creating these additional items.

     

    1. Creating cards and bookmarks for “Frontliners.” Our Heartfulness Studio has prepared a packet, complete with supplies and directions, so that you can create cards or bookmarks. Please drive by the church and pick up a packet from the bin located outside the main church entrance. Enjoy the creativity and return the cards and bookmarks to the church so that we can distribute them with our food donations. 
    2. Prayer Shawls for “Frontliners.” Our Prayer Shawl ministry is providing a kit, complete with supplies and instructions, to create prayer shawls. Kits will also be available at the front entrance of the church with yarn inside. Please drive by the church and pick up a kit in the bin located outside the main church entrance. Enjoy the time of prayerful knitting and return the shawls to the church so that we can distribute them along with our food donations. If you need help as you create, please call Robinette George at 804-784-3992 (home) or 804-647-9195 (mobile).

    If you want further information or have questions about these two opportunities, feel free to reach out to Kathi Traficanti at ktraficanti@secondbaptistrva.orgSee images below of late-shift frontliners from the ICU, CVICU and CCU teams at St. Mary’s enjoying the food and love provided by YOU!

     


     
     
    Bridging RVA is a nonprofit organization that is all about connecting individuals, groups & causes to advance common good in our community. 

    Drop-Knock-Leave Program. Local children & families are in need of food and other essentials. All of the needs have been identified and vetted by social workers, case managers, faith-based organizations or C.I.S. Chesterfield. The goal is doing what we can to ensure that no one in our community is going without food.

     

    How It Works
    • Volunteers arrive at our distribution site (TBD) where they will pick up bags of food and receive delivery addresses and route information for recipients.
    • Everyone who will receive food will be advised that a delivery will be coming. We will also instruct them to come outside after those making deliveries leave.
    • When volunteers arrive at the delivery address, they Drop off bags of food on the porch, KNOCK on the door and LEAVE.
    • No handshakes, hugging, or hanging around. Delivery volunteers do not come into direct contact with the recipients. To donate or volunteer, click here.
    If you have questions about BridgingRVA or their ministry of Drop-Knock-Leave, please contact Bev Todd at (804) 378-2043 or bfitinc@aol.com.

     

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Richmond City Public Schools needs volunteer support at their food distribution sites. They are asking for volunteer support in 3-hour shifts at each of their food distribution centers from 7:30am to 1:00pm, Monday-Friday – to sign up, click here.

    Join with church members and others volunteering at Richmond Public School food distribution locations. Loving and serving the vulnerable the Jesus way! 

     

    “Love Your Neighbor: Adopt Your Block”

    There are over 500,000 regular church attenders in Metro Richmond. Imagine the impact the Church could have if all of these individuals and families committed to caring for their neighbors during the COVID crisis! For Richmond has created a new mapping tool where you can register to adopt your block and find resources to help your neighbor. Sign up today and make sure to share this opportunity with your friends. Block by block, cul-de-sac by cul-de-sac, apartment building by apartment building – this is how the Church can work together to make sure that no one goes unloved during this challenging time! To sign up, click here.

     

    Final Thoughts. It has been said that “the church does not have a mission, the church is the mission.” Christ came to the earth as the physical embodiment of the mission of God – to love and call and heal and serve and redeem a lost and suffering world. At this point in history, and in this particular season, we are called to be Christ’s continuing physical body in the world. Indeed, one of the ways that Christ is risen and alive is through His church! Let’s keep in step with the Spirit of God so that we would truly reflect the Son of God as we faithfully walk out the Mission of God… all to the glory of God!

    Blessings,
    Ben, Katie, Kathi, and Tom