ABCUSA Resources & Support Amid COVID19
|a note from
Rev. Dr. Patricia Murphy
Ecclesiastical Endorser, National Coordinator
Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2
I hope this email finds you and your families in good health; mind, body and soul! I do greet you all during week Six of Sheltering-in Place COVID-19 2020!
Being extremely sensitive to the thought that your email boxes must be overwhelmed with so many emails, it is not my intention to add to your pile but I do want to let you know that I am thinking of you and praying for/and alongside of you in this Season.
I do empathize with you, the pastors and congregations that you support. Having served as a Youth/Young Adult Pastor, Associate Pastor and Chaplain during Superstorms, Sandy, Irene, Hugo, 9/11 and the list goes on….I know what it’s like to be with the other(s) in times of trauma and crisis. It is in this season whereas we witness the human nature of humankind by the way(s) in which we watch and try to assist those we are called to serve navigate through the dynamics of grief, loss, pain, suffering, sorrow, fear, loss of control, loss of usefulness, and their individual understanding(s) of God, et. al. The needs are limitless and I oftentimes find myself wanting God to dispatch miraculous antidotes of healing to make it all go away!
In the meantime with great hope and anticipation in Christ, I wanted to say thank you to each one of you for the support that you have and still are giving to our Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors and Specialized Minsters in your Regions. Without you, I cannot sign off on their respective endorsements.
Secondly, as a way of updating you on what I have been doing with our Chaplains & Pastoral Counselors, I have been calling weekly meetings with them to hold sacred space for them to debrief, share best practices and to offer devotional time and prayer to support and keep them encouraged as they are serving. The majority of our chaplains have been holding up the front liners during this Pandemic in the hospitals, prisons and military. Some of our chaplains have been exposed to the virus and thus currently in isolation. One was in the hospital and now discharged and some were on the Naval fighter Roosevelt. Thank God the Naval ship has been docked and we have not had any chaplain deaths among them, it is for certain that the military has had quite a few deaths.
As I mentioned during our meeting last week, I have put out a request for those who are retired and those who have at least one hour to volunteer to be a resource to you our Regional Executives and or Congregations. To date, I have received about 25 responses (and they are still coming in) of both chaplains and licensed counselors. I will be putting this list together later today and tomorrow and it will be distributed to you by mid-week.
As so many of you have already, said “We are in this together”! I am willing to assist you from my level of expertise the best way I can without making any assumptions, so if you have any questions or in need of spiritual resources, I do invite you to send me an email or call me.
Finally, I wanted to share three articles with you that you may find useful; please let me know if you would like for me to continue sending you these types of resources to help you with your congregations etc.:
March 10, The Christian Century: 10 Guidelines for Pastoral Care During the Corona Virus Outbreak. Tips that seem almost second nature now…
March 27, Medium: Your Brain Won’t Work as Well: Tips for Spiritual Leaders During COVID-19, and
I have attached from my friends at American Bible Society: Declarations-for-Coronavirus – Crisis Prayer.
I look forward to our working together in the days to come. Again, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me or call.
Be well and stay safe!
20 Bible Truths To Declare During the Covid-19 Outbreak.pdf