Hood View Meets the COVID-19 Challenge
The sudden closure of churches throughout Oregon in March of 2020, due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, may have shut the lights out and locked the doors, but it did not stop Hood View church members from finding ways to serve each other and their community.
Members of the Hood View Church, in Boring, Oregon, quietly went about helping others with careful attention to maintain the least contact possible to love and protect others from the virus sweeping the nation.
Then, one church member heard of a group who lost the use of their distribution site to share boxes of food for those in need. They were able to get permission from health authorities to allow the Hood View Church to host the group so they could continue serving others.
Now, every Tuesday for nearly two years, cars line up, circle the church parking lot and stretch down adjacent roads. Many people come quite a distance to pick up a food box — some, as far away as Oregon City and Milwaukee and some from towns near Mount Hood.
The number of families varies. More than 200 families were through the month of May 2020. The next month, with an influx of seasonal migrant workers,190 families were served in just one week! By May 2021 the monthly count had grown to 480 families every month!
If you travel the back roads of Boring, Oregon, you will see a sign at a School in Damascus, advertising free food boxes at Hood View Adventist Church. Because of this contact, some participants are asking what Adventists believe. One said she did not even know the church existed before the pandemic. Like the ripples in a pond, God’s love flows out from the hands of His followers.
Hood View members found many other ways to serve. Some checked in on those around them, and others sent cards of encouragement. Church leaders delivered Sabbath School quarterlies and communion emblems for virtual celebrations of the Lord’s supper. It was a vital way to build connection with more vulnerable members. One member, delivered and stacked firewood, another played the accordion in the parking lot of an assisted living facility, others took food to the sick, picked up groceries and provided transportation to doctor appointments.
Like ripples in a pond, God’s love reverberates through every act of service from the hands of His followers.
In times like these, it’s important to remember “... Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me — you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40 MSG).