Henderson Settlement will continue to be open with limited operations pending a significant shift in the health environment within our community. We will continue to monitor, and comply with decisions made by the United Methodist Church, as well as the Federal and State governments. At this time, continued operation with some adjustments is compliant with the decisions of these groups.
Our organization has developed a plan including operational adjustments to increase our already high sanitation standards. Staff and community members are clear that they are not to come to the Settlement if they are sick … even if the sickness is thought just to be a head cold. We have suspended any visits by volunteers from outside the community in alignment with KY State mandates.
To join us in the logic of the decision to continue limited operation, it is necessary to understand the context within which we function. When we shut down, there are folks that go without food. Our working community members are without child care options to react to the 3 or 4 week (or potentially longer) school closures. Some members of our community are dependent upon the Settlement for transportation to access medical assistance and to purchase the daily necessities of life. Our community youth will be largely idle for a month or more, lacking the diversions that are common and available in most American homes and communities. We can make the seemingly “safe” decision to shut down to protect our community members, leaving them to face further hardship.
We have prayed for God’s direction, and He has answered our prayer. The first sign was peace with the decision. The second sign was the provision, at just the right time, of the devotion you can read at the bottom of this message. Please take the time to do so, it is particularly pertinent to this period in our Christian lives. The third sign was alignment from the Red Bird Missionary Conference to support whatever decisions the Leadership Team should make.
We expect that the next three months, or more, will be particularly difficult for our community and our organization. No, not largely because of illness. The hardship will result from the impacts of fear. The temptation when we are afraid is for us to focus inwardly….”How can I protect myself? How can I keep my family safe? How can we prevent contributing to the spread of illness within our congregation?”
An alternative is to focus on the impact that others around us may experience as the result of this situation and the panic surrounding it. Charitable support can decline over-night as churches and families feel less financially secure. Access to food, medical, and other forms of support systems can instantly vanish as these systems are shut down. Those among us with the least resources to weather a storm are typically the most dramatically impacted by it.
We ask that you continue to support us in the following ways:
For the Leadership Team,
James L. Knight
Updates as of
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