Congregational Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
BCM’s Congregational Wellness conducts ministries in the Greater New Orleans area by educating church members – both registered nurses and lay people – to implement wellness ministries within the congregations and communities they serve. One of the biggest threats to the health and wellness of our congregations has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Congregational Wellness leaders have been working hard to combat the challenges that church members have faced during this crisis. Take a look at all we’ve been doing.
Masks and Testing
In partnership with the City of New Orleans, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), and Hanes Apparel, BCM received 6,500 masks made from Hanes material to distribute to our local church partners. All 6,500 masks were distributed to 121 churches across Greater New Orleans. An additional 3,500 masks will be distributed throughout July. Four BCM network church partners have served as host sites for COVID-19 testing and eleven have served as food distribution centers.
Congregational Wellness has adapted quickly taking much of our work to the digital space. We have conducted Virtual Town Hall meetings with faith leaders in the community on the novel Coronavirus and provided on-site presenters on resources available in the community to address housing, legal, and mental health needs.
To ensure informed decisions among our pastors and clergy in congregations, a House of Worship: Precautions for Re-entry webinar was conducted to inform pastors of specific considerations for members when preparing for services to resume.
Some of our churches continue to execute the principles of one of our premier programs, STAR (Strategies to Trim And Reduce) by live streaming and teleconferencing to reinforce the importance of healthy living especially due to the cited health disparities.
This June, the Quarterly Wellness Ministry Meeting was held via Zoom. It focused on resilience, how to cope, healthy tips, and how to hold virtual events to celebrate in our communities in the midst of COVID-19.
And, while our Church Nurse Educational Program (CNEP) and the Congregational Health Promoters Program (CHPP) experienced a change in the conduction of classes, the content delivered remained uncompromised, thanks to the technologies of telecommunication and videoconferencing and 23 wellness ministry leaders completed their curriculum in 2020.
To donate to BCM’s Congregational Wellness program, click here.