COVID-19 did not deter 2020 Christmas outreach activities by 3 churches in Mississippi River District
By Rev. James Luvene
Hughlett, Lighthouse and Ross United Methodist Churches
Three United Methodist churches in the Mississippi River District – Hughlett, Lighthouse and Ross – joined with Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in December 2020 for their Annual Christmas Uplift program.
Normally the men of Gamma Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity help take part in the Annual Christmas community meal and Christmas concert at Ross UMC in Dyersburg TN, but due to Covid-19, the 2020 Christmas meal and concert were canceled.
Christmas Uplift was continued, and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day five families and 15 children received Christmas gifts (selected by the children), clothes (including shoes), and food for the holidays.
This event could not have happened without the help and support of the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Gamma Iota Iota Chapter. I give God thanks for the support of the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the members of my three churches who give generously each year for this event.
CHRISTMAS DAY MEALS
Due to COVID-19, members of Lighthouse UMC were faced with a difficult decision to continue or not a three-year-old Christmas Day outreach tradition.
The tradition includes serving brunch to local first responders and residents of Wade Harvest Ministries in Alamo, TN, a halfway house for ex-felons.
After prayer and discussions, the church decided to continue the Christmas Day brunch, but with a twist. The meals would be ordered and then served in a drive-through at the church, as well as delivered.
On Christmas Day morning, 13 volunteers arrived at the church around 7:30 a.m. and parepared the brunch. Some meal items had been prepared on Christmas Eve.
With social distancing, plastic gloves and masks, the volunteers prepared 56 meals. Leftovers were boxed and delivered to Wade Harvest Ministries.
I arrived home on Christmas Day at 2:30 p.m. – tired, but full of joy from the joy of the volunteers and the smiles on the face of those receiving the meals.
It made this 2020 COVID-19 Christmas even more special.