Here are just a few things you can consider doing amidst this tumultuous time in our country and world to reach out to your community.
1. Open your doors for interfaith prayer vigils, community listening sessions or discussion events, or events in cooperation with local educators to help children sort out their fears and concerns. If you need media contacts or other assistance to share what you have planned, please get in touch at email@example.com or KathyCopas@indydio.org,
2. Initiate a weekly community study around dismantling racism or peacemaking in times of war. There are many resources available at www.episcopalchurch.org/racial-reconciliation and www.episcopalchurch.org/library/topics/peacemaking.
3. Get out those “Light a Candle, Pray for the Nation” yard signs and other resources provided by the diocese last year and hold another candle lighting reflection event in your community.
4. Bring your children and youth together to create a piece of art or a clothesline full of drawings for your front lawn promoting reconciliation and peace. No parish lawn? Try chalk sidewalk drawings.
5. Provide community comfort during hard times with your best hospitality, like a Friday afternoon ice cream social or giving out cups of cold water on a hot day at a busy community location. Simply be present, listen, and chat with those who are feeling anxious, isolated, confused or just wish to share.
6. Partner with your local veterans organizations for an event to talk with your community about their experiences of war.
7. Become a place of encouragement and hope through your social media posts, offering and pushing positive hashtags.
8. Offer a summer movie or two on the church lawn this summer, showing popular films that promote peace in times of war and building reconciliation/dismantling racism. Consider holding a post-movie discussion time.
9. Mobilize your parish singers and musicians and their friends and offer a community concert for peace.
10. Announce a flash coffee house at your parish with an open mic format. Have one or two parishioners primed and ready to share their personal stories around themes of war, racism, or related issues and get ready for others to join in.
Need help or more ideas? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or KathyCopas@indydio.org or call 502-345-6406. (And, be sure to share what you did and how it worked.)