Churches are always looking for new, creative ways to reach out to their communities, but during the COVID pandemic, churches are giving extra thought to showing love to those around them.
Before the COVID pandemic seized the nation, Pastor Paul Murdock of the Chattaroy Missionary Baptist Church in Chattaroy, West Virginia was set to begin the G.R.O.W Outreach program in the church. G.R.O.W, which stands for God's Rewards, Our Work, is a monthly outreach program to get members of the church involved in reaching out to both members and non-members of the church. Through things such as community programs, visitation, and Vacation Bible School, the G.R.OW. teams would be working to engage residents and serve those around them.
After the pandemic began, the church began to wonder how they would successfully continue their G.R.O.W program. Letter writing, phone calls, and an increased social media presence was a given, but they wanted to let the community know members of the church are praying for them. That’s when the G.R.O.W Team came up with Ribbons of Faith.
To the side of the church parking lot is a chain link fence, which has been transformed into a sort of prayer wall. Members of the church filled a box with pieces of ribbon and placed it on the flower box in the parking lot. People are encouraged to stop by to tie a ribbon to the fence. According to the G.R.O.W team, a ribbon tied to the fence can be a symbol of a personal prayer need or prayers for others. A ribbon can also symbolize, “letting go and letting God,” meaning laying your troubles and cares down and allowing God to handle it.
Pastor Murdock says he loves the idea of the Ribbons of Faith because as people drive by, he wants them to know they’re not alone, the church is praying for them, and God is still in control.
The box of ribbons is out all day, and anyone is welcome to stop by and tie ribbons to the fence.