Thanks to the Council for Health & Human Service Ministries of the UCC for inspiring this Great Idea!
CHHSM folks created a Special Worship Liturgy and Prayers to support a Health and Human Services Sunday, which they have designated for Sunday, January 31 (you can choose whatever Sunday works best in your community).
As a few folks start receiving the vaccine, some students, teachers and coaches head back to in-person school and athletics, and many people (and congregations) contemplate “giving up” on quarantine and other safety precautions, establishing a day or a week to recognize our frontline workers (see the CHHSM service/page for a good partial list) might inspire continued vigilance and rejuvenate those whose roles and jobs continue to hold danger for them and their loved ones.
The worship service could jump-start a week of action, including: sending out gratitude and encouragement cards to hospital and essential service workers in your community (a la the UMC’s Go Light Your World Campaign); creating a gratitude sign to display on your church property and/or in members’ yards (sign creation might make a great large-space or outdoor intergenerational project!) and/or creating the same thing to post online; posting a first-name-only list of local workers for whom the community continues to pray – and displaying it in some large, outside way or online; and rebooting earlier campaigns like lighting a candle in every window, every night at the same time, or mask-making.
While Covid news and numbers continues to be staggeringly abysmal, highlighting the extraordinary efforts of our health care, nursing home, and other essential workers, and taking further steps to bolster their morale can help the whole community feel more hopeful: when we do something to mitigate suffering, we’re doing something and doing something generates hope.