APRIL 2020 Newsletter
Pastor Sterling Copeland
For the month of April, we are reminded of the ‘Passion’ narrative during this Easter season. The ‘Passion’ largely became popularized by the Mel Gibson’s blockbuster The Passion of Christ (2004), and it chronicles the capture, judgement, beating, crucifixion, and eventual resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In this time, Christians contemplate the work of Jesus on their behalf. It is fascinating that both Good Friday and Easter elicit some form of adulation and joy when the original Latin roots of the word used for ‘Passion’ is more closely “suffering, or enduring”.
When I think of that word ‘passion’, I think of the 20+ years of devotion that I put in to be a professional soccer player. It was a dream that I had my whole life, and I am reminded of all the time, money, training, and fitness required to achieve that goal. But as I reflect on all that hard work that went into the dream, I can say it was all worth it, because there was an amazing reward. Though there was a lot of sacrifice and suffering in that dream, it was also suffering for a purpose.
This same idea is used to describe Jesus’ persecution to the cross. It wasn’t just suffering, but it was suffering for a very specific goal. The scripture of John 3:16 very famously shows that God so loved that world that He gave….so that we would have eternal life. There was suffering, but boy was there a reward.
I want to encourage all the readers out there to not forget the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus this Passion season. But the suffering of Christ was only one part of the story. The story didn’t end at the cross. That’s because we know that in the end, Jesus didn’t stay there, and the tomb was empty. This is why we have joy this resurrection season, because on the third day, the suffering didn’t define the season, it was the victory.
A note from our Executive Director
Habakkuk 2:4 states that “the righteous will live by faith.”
I love that promise and challenge to employ my faith as my guiding principle in every area of my life, even in a pandemic.
At Christ’s Body Ministries (CBM), we take the health, safety, and well-being of our daily homeless guests, clients, staff, and volunteers very seriously. We value them, their service and their well being.
With this in mind, our team is committed to working smartly and effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to do our part in our community to reduce the virus spread, while at the same time, maintaining and continuing our services to the homeless. Last week, we paused our day shelter work. Each week, our leadership team will evaluate the conditions as to when we can safely resume this work. The good news is that we are still operating our 24/7 respite care program and our one-year residential recovery community.
We are very concerned that homeless men and women are highly vulnerable to this virus. We will do everything we can to continue our life-giving care in safe, effective and innovative ways. At the same time, we will bring to bear reasonable practices to protect our staff, residents, and volunteers too.
I appreciate your prayers for wisdom during this time. We deeply believe in God’s faithfulness and abundant grace. I believe that God will use this pandemic to grow His Kingdom. If you have any questions, please contact me at (303)860-1272 or email me at email@example.com.
pastor jim chapman
A WHOLE NEW LOOK- volunteer spotlight
As our operations began to change due to the growing information and guidance on the Coronavirus, our mealtimes and services that we provide took on a whole new look! These last few weeks in March were unique to us in that more than ever our pastors, staff and volunteers joined forces and worked creatively together to get meals ready and to minister uniquely to the needs of our guests. We continued to provide many services that are typically provided indoors by moving them to the great outdoors. We condensed our daily meals into one mid-morning lunch and relocated our food serving line to the outdoors as well. None of this would be possible without the combined efforts of our incredible volunteers!
Over the last two weeks we had about 10 volunteers cover shifts and work tirelessly to support our services and prepare our bagged lunches each day. We were supplying at least 120 bagged lunches to guests per day. Although it looked much different than our traditional way of providing food, these bagged lunches still provided us with many opportunities to come alongside our guests. Our goal was to feed our precious guests healthy foods and provide this food to them in a way that reduced a risk of spreading the Coronavirus and considered the health and safety of all involved. Our morning prep consisted of making meals with more ‘bag stable’ foods like tuna sandwiches or turkey sandwiches. The sandwiches were bagged with a bottle of water, a healthy fruit snack, a source of protein such as a cheese stick, a power or granola bar and most importantly the ever much valued piece of cake.
OUR RESPITE CARE CONTINUES STRONG
In the midst of all the world turmoil relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, a new term has been established to determine organizations and personnel that are indispensable to society. These categories of business include the health care industry, essential retail such as grocery stores, government workers, and homeless services to name a few.
In light of this, Christ’s Body Ministries finds itself in a unique position as a ministry in which we operate as an ‘essential’ business in two ways. First, Christ’s Body has been serving the homeless community in Denver for over 25 years. Second, one of the newest ministries to CBM is our Respite Care program that is in partnership with Denver Health Hospital.
One of the areas of need for Denver is the provision of Respite Care facilities to partner with hospitals as short term solutions for the continued care of Denver’s homeless population. Individuals that require continued hospital care are referred to CBM to stay and heal for up to 30 days. While in the facility, our Respite Guests will have healthcare professionals continue to visit them, while CBM provides a safe and stable room to rest in during the duration of their stay. Coupling these services with CBM staff’s willingness to provide encouragement and prayer on a daily basis provides guests with physical and spiritual support in their recovery.
It would seem that the work of the ministry at Christ’s Body is as important as ever. With our regular services to the poor and our Respite Care aiding the stretched health care workers, our ministry has never been more ‘essential’.
WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK!
In addition to bagged lunches our pastors, staff and volunteers were still able to connect with guests and on cold mornings, serve coffee and provide blankets, clothes, encouragement and prayer. Without our volunteers this could not happen!
HEALTHY bAG LUNCHES
Our volunteers worked extra hours to organize the clothing closet as it was operating much more ‘on the fly’ to meet the needs of our guests outside. They also added extra duties to their routines such as individually packaging food items, sometimes even days in advance, to keep our food supply line in action! To top it off several volunteers graciously took on a new mindset of “disinfect, and again I say, disinfect!” by cleaning high use surfaces on a much more frequent basis.
Volunteers we thank you for your flexibility, your creativity and your overwhelming support of Christ Body Ministries during this time of growth! Your hearts that long to love and care for our homeless guests during this time are a cherished blessing. Together we help the homeless rise in Christ!
a quick peek at the last few weeks
A sudden change to an operation calls for at least a few extra pictures to share! We are grateful for your support and prayers during this time.
our BAG LUNCHES enabled our pastors TO REACH OUT to guests uniquely
(photos, left, below)
verse OF THE MONTH - THE PASSION
"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth."