EDMOND—What if you were the only Philadelphia Church of God member in your entire region—or your entire country? What if you are that member? Whether due to age, health, work, government restrictions or other reasons, many members only see members of their PCG family once a year at the Feast of Tabernacles. This year, some Philadelphia Church of God congregations have been restricted from holding Sabbath services since March, and some were blocked from keeping regular Feast services this year. Many picnics, fundraisers and other group activities have been cancelled.
How can you comply with government restrictions, yet still help the Work? Have you considered phoning a friend?
Thousands of PCG members are spread out across more than 50 different countries around the globe, with some living in very secluded areas. Yet whether they are in the outback of Australia, the vast plains of South Africa, the Austrian Alps, the prairies of Montana or the beaches of the Caribbean, like-minded members are just one telephone number away.
You don’t have to spend an hour on the phone; just a 10-minute call with an elderly shut-in member can make a big difference. And if you get off of work late or you don’t have time until the evenings, the disadvantages of being in different time zones turn into advantages. While telephoning someone later than 9 p.m. is sometimes bad etiquette, if it’s 9 p.m. in Oklahoma, for example, it’s someone’s lunch break in Sydney, Australia. Check your cellular telephone plan: Providers also often include calls to certain countries for free.
Helping the Work by helping the PCG family takes a little planning, but it is worth it. If your land-line or cellular telephone plan is too expensive or inconvenient, you can also look into other audio and video calling solutions to help you keep touch, including desktop/tablet computer applications like Google Hangouts, Face Time, Skypeand Telegram.
New Zealand Local Elder Les Davison said that during government lockdowns, members calling each other to say hello and to discuss “the events happening in the world and then be able to comfort one another by discussing the Sabbath messages” has “helped pull their attention to headquarters and to what God’s Work is doing.” He said that this has helped “build unity and love in His family.”
“Staying in touch with one another and reaching out to brethren is a great opportunity to grow and become like our Father, the God of all comfort and encouragement, as we get to put into practice 2 Corinthians 1:4,” South Africa Preaching Elder George Githembe said. “This is a great preparation for our future awesome, gigantic responsibility of encouraging and comforting the whole world very soon.”
Here are a few final tips for helping the Work in this way:
- At services, listen to local announcements and check the information table for information on shut-ins who might appreciate a call.
- Notice if an elderly member in your congregation didn’t make it to services this week, and check in on them with a call.
- Ask your local minister if he knows of someone who could use a call, even if it is a short call.
- If you call and the person is busy, don’t worry: Perhaps just set up a different time to chat.
- Don’t over-talk your welcome. Be mindful of the time, and end the call before it goes on for too long.
- Make it a habit: For example, try to call one person a week.