As this pandemic continues to rage around the world, needs continue to grow. Recent reports from Oxfam International and the World Food Programme indicate that nearly 300 million people could face crisis hunger by the end of this year — a more than 40% increase over 2019. In the face of this need, we are inviting Disciples to “Grow Your Compassion” with a designated offering for COVID-19 Relief. 100% of designated gifts will go to alleviate suffering caused by this pandemic: domestically, through our Household Solidarity Grants for Income Loss and grants to support Disciples feeding ministries; and internationally, through partners who are focusing on food security and slowing the spread of the coronavirus through water, sanitation, and hygiene.
So far, within the Illinois/Wisconsin Region, 3 feeding ministries have received Week of Compassion COVID-19 Relief Ministry grants. Additionally, 35 households from 5 congregations have received Household Solidarity Grants for Income Loss. We are deeply appreciative of your assistance in processing these grants!
Information about our COVID-19 Response is available on our website, with a full page of resources available for worship and offering promotion. Among the resources are multiple worship elements in PDF and video formats, including a call to worship, a pastoral prayer, and offering and communion invitations. We also have two full sermons available as videos for streaming or download, as well as children’s activities and sample social media posts.
Given the prevalence of online worship and engagement, Week of Compassion has launched a mobile giving option. This will allow for a text-to-give function and peer-to-peer fundraising. Using this platform, churches can see, in real time, their gifts to the offering as well as the combined generosity of Disciples across the U.S. and Canada!