The Lowell United Methodist Church is calling February Community Support Month, recognizing society is experiencing “anxious and stressful times” according to the outreach page on their website. As a response to negative and hurtful comments seen on social media, the organization aims to respond with love and would like to see the Lowell community do the same.
Each week a different profession will be highlighted. Individuals in the community working in these professions will be shown support as it’s often easy to take for granted those working in certain fields.
Countering Negativity with Love and Support
Inspired in part by the book “Church Unique” by Will Mancini, the church leadership group wanted to make a constructive difference in the Lowell community. Rather than focus on bad behavior, Community Support Month will draw attention to local individuals working within the highlighted field of service for the week. Davin Risk is one of the individuals leading the effort with Pastor Brad of Lowell United Methodist Church.
“Small acts of love can really make a difference in the community,” says Risk. He’s eager to see how responding to the world around us with love, in a loving way will motivate others to do the same and make a positive difference in the way people interact with each other, especially on social media.
During the month of February, each Sunday will kick off the focus on a new field of service. A video highlighting some local individuals within the week’s themed jobs will be played during worship services and then posted on Facebook. Those appearing in the video were asked a variety of questions including the best things experienced in the community since the start of COVID, what the individual would like to have seen more of in the community to show support in his or her profession, what gestures of kindness means to the individual, and what makes the Lowell community special.
The church will distribute gifts of love to those in the community throughout the week and look to inspire others to do the same. Gifts being distributed could include dropping off a treat to a school, the police department, fire department, or Meijer employee break room. Social media posts are encouraged and should highlight an individual and how he or she has had a positive influence on the community (including a photo is optional). Use the hashtag #LiftUpLowell to show your participation in Community Support Month. Risk would love to see local community groups flooded with posts using this hashtag showing how love and positivity are far more productive than pessimism and cynicism.
Gift bags will also be available at the church for people to pick up and distribute to others in the community working within the professions for the week as a way to show love, appreciation, and support. The bags will contain “a sweet treat, a few practical gifts, and a laminated prayer”. Contact the church via email or stop by their location at 621 E. Main Street for more information.
Looking for Financial Support
The Community Support Month effort is looking to fundraise $700 in order to drop off gifts to groups and have gift bags available. It’s estimated 200 gifts will be able to be distributed each week if this goal is met. If additional funds are raised, they will go toward being able to give more back to the community. Risk says every dollar donated will be put back into the community.
Those looking to support this month-long effort can mail or drop checks off to the Lowell United Methodist Church. Online donations can also be made through Tithely where after an account is created the church can be searched for and a donation made by selecting Community Support Month. The QR code below can also be used to donate online through Tithely.
To date, more than half of the $700 goal has been met after announcing the endeavor two weeks ago. Donations will be accepted through the month of February.
Those wanting to make a donation, give a gift bag or highlight someone on social media do not need to be members of the Lowell United Methodist Church’s congregation. Gift bags are available on Sunday while the church is open or during the week during office business hours (Tuesday through Friday 9am-3pm).
Check out the Lowell United Methodist Church’s Facebook page each week to see a video highlighting individuals in the community. Community Support Month looks to embolden posting on Facebook as a way to turn the tables on negativity often seen on the platform. Those who wish to participate should post in community groups as well as personal pages and use the hashtag #LiftUpLowell so these posts stand out and can be easily found.
Show support to community members in the following professions throughout February based on the following schedule provided by Lowell United Methodist Church:
Week 1 (starting Feb 6,2022): Healthcare Workers- this will include medical professionals that live in our community as well as those that work in our community.
Week 2 (starting Feb 13, 2022): First Responders – this will include police, fire, and emergency service workers.
Week 3 (starting February 20, 2022): Education- this will include those working in our schools including our administrators and board of education members.
Week 4 (starting February 27,2022): Service Workers- this will include all of those working in restaurants, delivering our groceries, checking us out at stores, changing our oil, picking up our trash and more.
Searching Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #LiftUpLowell throughout February to see what others are saying about members of the Lowell community.