Throughout this pandemic we have been separated from our community and church family, unable to meet in person, to worship together, to talk over a cup of coffee. Many in our community have felt lonely or sad, faced daunting challenges, and experienced important rites of passage without the traditional gatherings to mark the passing.

To help keep our community connected, to spread love and joy, and to address this situation, FLOAT (Family Life Outreach and Advocacy Team) created the Tend the Flock ministry. Each month many, many members of our congregation have connected by tending the flock or being tended to.

In May we tended our flock by delivering May Day bouquets and cards; in June we tended to our graduates and first year college students. July saw a partnering with Justice and Witness to tend the larger Eugene Springfield community. Then, for August we sent cards and artwork, with September/October tending to our teachers who are facing the challenge of teaching our children and youth online. Thank you to all who have participated in this ministry!

We are blessed with connections and joy as both the givers and the receivers. One participant said, “Each connection I have made with the calls, flowers, and now the teacher gifts has been so positive. We need community. We need to know that we are there for each other…it makes all the difference.” Another recipient emailed, “Thank you so much for the gifts! I’d gotten busy on Zoom and forgotten anyone was coming by, then I opened the front door to find these wonderful treats and beautiful flowers! I started to cry, because it just felt so good to know people are looking out for teachers right now. It’s just been so stressful, and these are such sweet gifts. Thank you, thank you! I’m starting with the chocolate.”

Thank you for being part of Tend the Flock and please look for future opportunities to participate in this meaningful ministry.