Complete the Census – Your response matters. Your response influences decisions that will affect you, your family, your community. “Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways” (2020census.gov)
Encourage your family, members of your congregations and neighborhoods to complete the census. We know that there are those who would silence our voices. The census is a different way to vote, to make sure you and your family is counted. Continue the legacy of Richard Allen to make a difference in community.
You still have time to complete the census, but time is growing short. Census workers have started knocking on doors to gather data in safe way, but you can still send in your census form or go online to complete the questionnaire. We’ve included the link for your convenience.
Cast Your Vote – Covid-19 has affected every area of our lives, but we must persevere in lifting our voices by going to the polls! Choose the method of voting that works best for you, but be sure that you vote:
1. Mail in Voting: Check with your county Board of elections for deadlines to request your mail in ballot, and requirements that you must meet to complete a valid ballot. Some counties provide drop boxes, while others permit voters to return the ballot to the county board of election in person.
2. Early Voting: Some jurisdictions allow for same day registration and voting at early voting locations. Check the locations, days and times. This may be the voting method for you. Plan and prepare. Go and vote. Consider a “Souls to the Polls” event. We can do it even while observing safety strategies. Check with the Board of Elections for ways you can support voters and plan a program to do that, for example, water, healthy snack, etc.
3. Election Day Voting: Election Day is November 3, 2020. Identify your polling place. Verify the poll hours. Prepare and Plan to vote. Take what you need in the event of long lines. Help your community to vote as suggested above. Remember the words of Michelle Obama, “We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too, because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.”
Encourage those in your communities to vote. Resources are available so that voter registrations can be verified. Engage your congregations in a process to ensure that all who are eligible to vote are registered, and that they get out and vote.
For information on how to get your area voter registration: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns.aspx
Care for Your Health
1. Keep your regular routine. Get up at the same time. Eat healthy meals at regular intervals. Keep your regular bedtime (or set one if you don’t have one). Exercise. Do something you enjoy that is not work related. Devotion time: Prayer – talk to God and listen to God; Bible study
2. Connect with Others – One of the ways the enemy works is to isolate us and strike at our weaknesses. Remember Adam and Eve? Remember when the enemy approached Jesus? Although we may be separated by physical contact we can stay connected to healthy, supportive relationships. God has given us resources. Let’s use them for good to reach out, encourage, and exhort one another.
3. Count Your Blessings – Seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. Look where God is at work in your life. Rejoice! Give thanks & Praise. Yes, even in the midst of these unusual times, we can praise God!
4. Laugh – Laughter will “brighten the corner where you are” as well as that of those with whom you interact. Scripture encourages us “as merry does a heart good”- Proverbs 17:22
5. Set realistic priorities. Identify goals for each day that are measurable, obtainable, and realistic. In planning, be kind to yourself.
6. Limit exposure to news media. Stay informed but check the sources to be sure they are reliable. The trolls are busy and some are poisoning the pot.
7. Get your flu shot – Flu vaccination has important benefits. It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. There are many vaccine options to choose from. CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that for the 2020 – 2021 influenza season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic it is even more important than in normal years to get the flu vaccine. The CDC guidelines for the influenza (flu) vaccine are: Get your vaccine by the end of October; annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications; A licensed vaccine appropriate for age and health status should be used. Emphasis should be placed on vaccination of high-risk groups and their contacts/caregivers. See: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm for additional information.
While you’re getting your flu shot, make sure all your immunizations are current.
8. Get Help if you need it. www.theEAP.com – available to Clergy and their families. Get the help you need NOW! You are already enrolled. All you have to do is CALL ANYTIME 24/7 for confidential assistance. To reach a counselor for any of your EAP needs, just call toll-free 1.800.252.4555 or 1.800.225.2527 or VISIT theEAP.com and give the name SECOND EPISCOPAL DISTRICT AME CHURCH as your employer. Help is on the way.
Compiled by Rev. Dr Barbareta A. McGill, DRS, MSN, RN, FCN, Second Episcopal District Clergy Care Team