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
HS COVID-19 Plan
• Identify critical community needs
• Adjust program delivery to address critical needs
• Defer non-essential programming (communicating approach during deferral period)
• Designate & prepare a location to be used as an isolation facility should on-campus illness occur
• Develop, deploy and routinely update aligned operational plan
• Staff Communication – initial expectations, and ongoing updates
• Community Communication – initial expectations and ongoing updates
• External Volunteer Communication – Work Camp and Volunteer Participation plan
Sanitation (beyond normal high levels of operation sanitation)
• Hand wash stations identified and supplied
• High-touch surfaces disinfection – common areas of highest focus
• Suspend use of non-essential facilities to enable focused use of resources
• Verify supply lines for critical need programming
• Verify inventory of required containment supplies
• Weekly Lead Team sessions with subsequent deployment to staff
• Pop-up daily crisis control sessions, should situation warrant
• Augment local school efforts … do not duplicate
Safety First Devotion
IN WORD In many places in the world, Christians are put to death for no other reason than being Christians. This is no surprise, Jesus said it would be so. American Christians usually aren’t quite sure how to relate to this, because we aren’t often threatened with death for our beliefs. But it happens. According to recent statistics, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world.
Still, there is something comforting in Jesus’ words “Not a hair of your head will perish.” He has just told them that some will die, yet not a hair of their head will perish. How can this be?
Jesus doesn’t define death as genuine harm. As frightening as death is to most of us, and as tragic as early death seems to us, we can all expect to die. Death is a universal experience, whether we are being persecuted for our faith or our bodies fail us for some reason. Yet Jesus assures us that if we stand firm with Him (v. 19), not a hair will perish. No real harm will come to us, because death in Christ is not real harm. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more." (Luke 12:4)
IN DEED Where does your security lie? Do you seek security in your physical well-being? That would be insecure indeed, according to Jesus. No, real safety is found in standing firm with Him. He is our protector and defender. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need not fear any evil; the Good Shepherd is with us. Our safety is contingent only on our faith in Him. (Luke 12:8-9)
Let God redefine your understanding of security to be consistent with Jesus’ words. Know that even when you die, not a hair of your head will perish.
From: The One Year At His Feet Devotional
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.