By the end of March, a phone calling campaign (yes, voices and ears talking and listening – not just texting and e-mailing) was created for checking on the well-being of our members. Volunteer callers were recruited to inquire about how people were doing: Did they need help with errands, help with shopping for groceries, and help dealing with this new way of living? Another team was ready stand to answer any requests. So far, our members have seldom requested help, but have appreciated the outreach.
The calling program began 12 weeks ago with 29 volunteers calling each week, thus contacting 288 households. By mid-May more callers were recruited. Over the weeks, based on feedback from the chats, the number of contacted households has been reduced. Now the team, 35 strong, is placing just a handful of calls per person, reaching about 145 families. Because a new list is given to each caller weekly, the interactions stay fresh. Our calls have enabled the church to broadcast the news of the church, to identify those members watching the virtual services, to identify those without access to a computer, and to update our information with cell phone and landline numbers. We have also identified 23 members who especially find joy in receiving cards and notes, and we are being responsive. Several members requested a written sermon. The Deacons are looking into this.
The callers report they are enjoying their chats with people they have never met face to face as well as talking with friends they miss seeing on Sundays. They have been told our calls are anticipated and appreciated. We plan to continue our calls until church resumes in the sanctuary.