Practical Help and Training
Some thoughts from Steve Watson in Spring 2020:
During our current COVID-19 crisis, members of our community have had great needs and anxieties ourselves. And we have sought to find help from God and friends to make it through this season together. For ongoing needs for help with your errands or practical tasks, please reach out to Pastor Lydia at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can try to match you with volunteers. In the midst of our needs, though, it has been inspiring to see our community love our neighbors and turn our faith into action together as well.
One of the Reservoir Church’s five core values is Action. We say: Love for Jesus compels us to act – to seek justice, show compassion, work for reconciliation, and hope for transformation in joyful engagement with the world.
We raised well over $25,000 for our own Feed Cambridge Families initiative, funding gift cards distributed to economically insecure families in the Cambridge Public Schools. That story was picked up by WBZ and other journalists as a way to inspire others to respond to our pandemic with love and generosity. At this point, other people and programs have stepped up in Cambridge to help families in our city, most notably through the The Mayor’s Fund.
We also partnered with the American Red Cross to turn our sanctuary into a sacred space for blood donation. Over several days, we have already collected over 200 units of blood in the Reservoir sanctuary, saving up to 600 lives in the process. Donors including US Congresswoman Katherine Clark. We have one more day scheduled with the Red Cross, and depending on the Banneker School’s schedule, we may have more in the future. Donor spots are full but volunteers needed.
Our church is also partnering with Greater Boston Interfaith Organization to bring help and calls for justice all the way to the office of our Governor, as we seek housing security, access to affordable healthcare for all members of the Commonwealth, as well as relief for people who can and should be freed from dangerous conditions in our jails and prisons. This is a time to organize even more. To get involved with our church’s effort of putting Faith Into Action, contact email@example.com .
At this point, we’d like to invite all of our community groups to find your own way into this great movement of public love and justice God is calling us to in this season. We are hoping that every community group can together do one thing for the public good this spring. One thing to channel your faith into action. One way to seek justice, show compassion, work for reconciliation, or hope for transformation in joyful engagement with the world.
Here are a list of some ideas for your groups. If you have more ideas, add them to this spreadsheet Public Love 2020. And once your group has decided what you’d like to do together, please let Ivy know that as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love & Action in Your Neighborhood
- Make gratitude posters for USPS employees and other delivery people.
- Commit to praying for your neighbors each day and where appropriate, let them know you’re doing so.
- Make masks and/or partner with folks who are. [With face2facemasks.org, for every mask you buy, they will give a mask to a homeless shelter serving people who have no ability to socially isolate and “stay home” and have no ability to purchase masks for themselves.]
Your group can pledge to give funds to a cause. Share what you’re each able to give, so that you know the total. Those who have some extra cash or savings could give or those who receive federal stimulus funds but don’t need them all for themselves could give all or a portion of those funds to those who need them more. A few ideas for places to give:
- Asha – http://www.asha-usa.org
Imagine being quarantined with several other people in a one room, cement-floored home with no running water, no savings, and no access to work. These are the conditions for many residents in New Delhi, India. Our partners there, Asha, are mobilizing public health education as well as emergency food and cash relief in their communities right now.
- Victory Programs – https://www.vpi.org
People who are unhoused and those in recovery or still struggling with substance use disorder are among our city’s most vulnerable right now. Victory continues to serve these communities well and is led by Reservoir member Sarah Porter.
- MassUndocuFund – https://www.massundocufund.org
Most undocumented immigrants will not receive any federal stimulus funds, even though they have played valuable roles in our economy and have been many of the first laid off during this crisis. Funds like this help undocumented immigrants access one of their only means of assistance right now.
You may know another worthy organization members of your group are passionate about helping, or in your group, people may know friends or relatives or other contacts that could badly use some help.
- Mass Council of Churches – One Church Fund
You can financially support churches that have been hit hard this year, often smaller congregations. Or, you can volunteer your technological, legal, mental health, or other supports.
Serve Cambridge Elders from Your Home
Building Impact and the Cambridge Community Center are asking for help in supporting seniors, many of whom are experiencing isolation and have urgent unmet needs. Volunteers are needed to make weekly phone calls to Cambridge residents over 60, connecting them with available resources and giving them someone to talk to. They are looking for people who will make at least one call per week, for at least four weeks. You can learn more about the initiative by watching their calling tree volunteer training videos.
Join a Local Mutual Aid Society and Help
Mutual aid societies – local, community-based groups of volunteers that answer hotlines and match needs with resources – have been very active. Sign up with the mutual aid society in the community where you live, and you can answer a hotline or donate money or services the people in your community need. There is a very active mutual aid society for Medford/Somerville, for instance, as well as one for Cambridge, and one in Arlington. The majority of our members live in these four communities, but there may be one in yours as well.
SPECIAL CONTENT FROM SPRING 2020 DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK:
The Layers of Prayers – The Prayers of Our Minds
The Layers of Payers – The Prayers of Our Hearts
The Layers of Prayers – The Prayers of Our Bodies
The Layers of Prayers – The Prayers of Our Souls
The Layers of Prayers – The Prayers of Our Spirit
SOME SHORT “WORD OF THE DAY” VIDEOS FROM OUR PASTORS:
- March 16, 2020 Community vs. Isolation
- March 17, 2020: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
- March 18, 2020: God Sees You
- March 19, 2020: Gratitude
- March 20, 2020: Fear and Grief
- March 24, 2020: Saying Goodbye and Hello
- March 25, 2020: Love Casts Out Fear
- March 26, 2020: Psalm 130
- March 27, 2020: Let Your Body Calm the Mind
- March 30, 2020: Freedom from Blame, a Spiritual Practice
- March 31, 2020: The Lord’s Prayer, a Remix
- April 1, 2020: I Have No Idea Where I Am Going
- April 2, 2020: A Holy Opera to a Mistake Cookie
- April 3, 2020: Thank You for Your Service
- April 6, 2020: What Are You Carrying Today?
- April 7, 2020: Held Together With Guts and Goodness
- April 9, 2020: Stop Spiritual Bypassing
- April 14, 2020: 4 Corners Prayer: a Prayer for the Night
- April 16, 2020: The Embodiment Prayer
- April 17, 2020: What to Do With the Stimulus Money?
- April 20, 2020: Small Things With Great Love
- April 22, 2020: The Holy Work of Washing Our Hands
- April 24, 2020: You Can Start Again
- April 27, 2020: The Examen
- April 29, 2020: “Together,” A Song of the Day
- May 1, 2020: Something Good Out of Our Weakness
- May 6, 2020: Public Love, Three Ways
- May 8, 2020: Listen. Be Still.
- May 12, 2020: This Video Took Forever and Was Hard for Me…
- May 14, 2020: Hold On in Times of Uncertainty
- May 15, 2020: You Are God’s Beloved
- May 18, 2020: Two Streams of Thought and Promise from Pandemic
- May 20, 2020: Mavis Staples singing “Eyes on the Prize.”
- May 22, 2020: When It’s Difficult to Pray
- May 26, 2020: Creating a Rule of Life
- June 1, 2020: Consider Committing to Justice as a Rule of Life
- June 3, 2020: Whiteness, for my White Friends
- June 5, 2020: Tips for Reading the Bible
- June 10, 2020: Wisdom
- June 12, 2020: Tips for Prayer, with Distractions
- June 19, 2020: Whether You’re “Woke” or Not…
- June 22, 2020: Rule of Life #3: Rest
- June 24, 2020: A Lamp, or a Lifeboat, or a Ladder: A Daily Examen
- June 29, 2020: Rule of Life #4: Choose What Fills Your Imagination
Beyond our Sunday services and community groups, we look to offer people tools and experiences to connect with the joyful life Jesus makes possible. Your best bet for connection and support would be to frequent one of our community groups. While community groups are a great place to start, we’ve developed some additional resources that many of our members, friends, and guests have found useful. If you’re looking for something you don’t find here, feel free to contact any of our staff with your questions.
Community Group Resources
We provide our Community Group leaders with resources to use in their groups. These include bible and book studies and prayer resources. They also include our Love of Neighbor & Doing Justice social justice study. You may encounter some of this content by joining a Community Group at Reservoir, but you’re also welcome to check out these resources for yourself!
Discovering our desires, abilities, gifts, and personalities can be both stressful and exhilarating. Each year, we offer an in-house weekend conference to help you reflect upon your life experiences and discover more of your purpose in the world. Through teaching and a variety of exercises that combine personal reflection with group interaction and feedback, Discovery Weekend will offer you valuable tools and perspective.
In order to allow the benefits of the course to continue beyond the weekend, participants who register with other community group members will be given priority, but all are welcome to attend.
Discovery Weekend is offered in the spring each year. Email email@example.com with questions or interest, and keep an eye on our calendar for the link to register. Note: Registration closes the Sunday before Discovery Weekend takes place.
Our pasts affect us in many ways, known and unknown—and all too often negatively. Each year, we offer an in-house weekend conference designed to name these negative experiences and to tap into God’s power to free us from their effects and to propel us into a newly joyful future. Through teaching, small group conversation, and personal prayer exercises and reflection, the weekend will provide a valuable next step toward a life of freedom and wholeness.
Transformation Weekend is offered annually in February, but we occasionally also have related groups and resources throughout the year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or interest.
Couples and Marriage
Whether you are married or not, navigating love, friendship, and partnership as a couple can be both beautiful and stressful. We have found that couples need resources from God and support from others to have the best possible relationship. We offer family-friendly community groups, community groups specifically for couples, and occasionally classes for couples as well. Our pastors love meeting with couples who are exploring marriage, and they offer help with that process. While most of our couples are opposite sex, we’re happy to support same sex couples in engagement and marriage as well. Contact Steve Watson with questions or interest.
Prayer is a powerful way that we find a greater connection not only with God but also with ourselves. Most of our community groups pray together regularly and are an easy place to learn the art of prayer. We also have trained volunteers who offer prayer at our Sunday services. If you’d like an appointment for further prayer, contact Michaiah Healy with questions or interest. We practice a form of prayer called the Immanuel Approach, in which we look to establish a real connection with Jesus, the God-with-us who loves and is present to us. Michaiah can also let you know about opportunities to receive training in how to better connect with God through prayer and how to pray effectively for others.
We provide short-term food relief to members of Reservoir Church who are in need. To donate or to inquire about receiving help from Storehouse, contact us at email@example.com.
Our pastoral staff maintains a list of skilled mental health professionals who are experienced in serving people of faith. For questions or for a fully confidential referral, please send as much information as you are willing and able to share to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Take a Step” and other Email lists
There are a bunch of ways to stay in touch with us. We hope these resources will be helpful to you in your spiritual growth. To receive church announcements that connect you with resources and community news, email email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.