By Shelly Mayer
Director, ForColumbia 2020

As you undoubtedly are already aware, ForColumbia 2020 was scheduled to happen this Saturday, April 25th. This would have been our sixth year of loving and serving our neighbors in Columbia, Mo., and making an incredible impact in our city, all for God’s glory.

That’s always been our mission – to love and serve our neighbors, side by side.

The ForColumbia Executive Team had this year’s event about 75% planned and organized when the COVID-19 crisis began impacting our country. Boone County/Columbia was placed under a stay-at-home order back in March. Since then, we’ve continued to meet, considering ways we can still love and serve our neighbors. That’s a challenging thing to consider when your biggest resource – volunteers – cannot be mobilized and “working together, side by side” now carries with it a serious/unwise health risk.

Sadly, as we approach this weekend, this reality is still true.

As a community, we are still being asked to minimize our trips out of our home and our interactions with others, to keep ourselves and our more at-risk neighbors safe. But we want to keep the spirit of ForColumbia alive and have a fun idea that we’re hoping you’ll join us for!

This Saturday, would you consider wearing one of your past year’s ForColumbia shirts and make an effort to bless someone in your neighborhood? Below is a list of all kinds of things you could consider doing and, if you have other ideas, we’d love to have you contact us and share them, and we may even add them to our list of recommendations.

  • Bake something – cookies, muffins, a loaf of bread – and deliver it to a neighbor who is elderly, lives alone, or has been homeschooling their young children.
  • Mow a neighbor’s yard.
  • Cut flowers from your yard and leave them in a vase at a neighbor’s front door, perhaps with a short note.
  • Write a note of encouragement to someone you know who works in healthcare, or who has lost hours due to COVID-19, or is experiencing other kinds of hardship. Email or deliver it on Saturday.
  • Call a friend or neighbor and check up on them.
  • Offer to pick up groceries for someone who can’t get out, and leave them on their porch.
  • Provide a meal – either homemade or delivered, or by ordering a pizza delivered – to someone you know who could use the break.

Of course we want everyone to stay safe.

If you get out to deliver items to others, be sure to wear a mask and adhere to the recommended six-foot distance. Delivered items can be dropped off at someone’s front door, and from six feet away or more, you can simply wish them a good day.

As you’re serving others, we’d LOVE it if you’d capture the moment; get a photo of you and your family serving in your shirts that day and share it with us by tagging your post with #ForColumbia2020!

  • Maybe even share why you chose to serve in that way, and/or what your favorite ForColumbia serving moments are from years past.

Finally, as you serve even one other person, pray that God would use that small effort to do far more than we can ask or imagine, that the person you serve will feel deeply cared for, and perhaps through you will experience to love to Christ in new and fresh ways.

I know that in serving others, we ourselves will experience the blessing of God. Let’s not let our disappointment over not serving side by side physically this weekend rule the day. Instead, let’s serve others around us, knowing hundreds of other believers are still serving with us, side by side. And always, beautifully, to His glory.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7