Fifth Ward Church of Christ Resource Center
The FWCOC Resource Center is a way for members to use their gifts and talents to serve God and mankind. All resources and activities listed on the site are provided FREE of charge to residents of the greater Houston area. If you are wondering how we can offer these services free, the answer lies at the heart of what we understand as God’s directive for our lives. "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10). The FWCOC Ministry In-Brief is our way of providing a profile of Ministries at Work.
The FWCOC Ministry In-Brief - Health and Wellness Ministry
COVID-19 Research-Based Awareness, Part I – Foundational
When will this pandemic end? When can I get back to doing what I want and moving forward with my life? These are common questions being asked by most of us who are impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The key answer to ending the pandemic lies in how society responds to what really controls our understanding of COVID-19: science. Science is a broad discipline that spans biological, physical and earth (including space) content and related concepts, and this needs to be recognized, accepted, and realized by all. Most people typically recognize what they acknowledge, and science needs to be acknowledged because it is within all organisms (people, animals, plants, etc...) and abiotic interactions across boundaries.
Regardless of what you do or do not believe, without the concepts that science studies, the human body’s systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, etc...) could not function and you would physically cease to exist – you would not be able to complain about feeling anything at all. We must follow "the science" from reputable scientific and medical institutions that is based on truth, facts, data, collaboration, openness, transparency, and full disclosure. "Ending the pandemic" may not be the right phrase to use just yet, so getting back to some form of normality through controlling and mitigating infections may be a better approach until research validates the long-term options for COVID-19.
Fatigue, Lockdowns, and Uncertainty: Moving Past Awareness to Understand Blessings
Some people say, "I am aware of COVID-19 and some science, but how can this pandemic be a blessing when we don’t know the end? I am fatigued from this pandemic. It is unsettling being ‘on the edge’ of possible strict lockdowns." Awareness is great, but being equipped to make decisions requires an advanced awareness and understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it creates challenges during your journey.
During the pandemic, you must continue to be aware in order to make informed decisions that are researched-based, otherwise you may go down a path that leads to errors, missteps, disappointments, correction, and catastrophic events. If you allow your journey to continue and negotiate the roadblocks associated with the pandemic, you have already been blessed, especially after the first six months. You cannot allow the impacts of COVID-19 to "drive the vehicle" while you sit passively and just go along for the ride. You have to constantly look for options and opportunities to help maintain your physical, mental, and spiritual health, regardless of circumstances.
From a congregational standpoint, the church has been preparing and will continue to prepare methods for making broader impacts across continents. We have people all over the world with whom we are connecting; there are no boundaries for the people who tune into the worship service and bible class. This would not have happened so quickly had we not been forced to make challenging decisions and re-group because of the COVID-19 restrictions and constraints. It has thus expanded our outreach efforts. Some are concerned that members may be lost in transition, but, in reality, our faith has grown stronger as everyone has had a chance to stop and look at their options. Unless you are in a situation in which you can't see (or read) or hear anything, such as being hospitalized and unconscious (including a loss of hearing), there is no excuse not to tune in and be involved in services and events.
Some look at this pandemic chaos as a parting of the Red Sea, which we now have a chance to "walk across" and move with caution. You might ask yourself, "Do I stay in my safe place and try not to think or move because the virus might get me if I try to keep going? Or do I keep moving forward; follow the science; accept the constraints and guidelines; stay aware and be safe; do the best I can; trust God to get me through it; and take the new opportunities or perceived failures to grow and serve as they arise?" Christians should always seek ways to grow, shift perspectives and be involved in serving others.
COVID-19 Scientific Research Advances
In mid-November 2020, several scientific research institutions and collaborating partners announced preliminary results of various research studies on COVID-19 vaccines. The speed of this process has been massively accelerated by the use of advanced biological research techniques and their associated technologies, including genetics. This is great news, but what does it mean for current infections, transmission, and lockdown restrictions?
First and foremost, there are critical terms you should know in order to understand how such advances will impact society. These include immunity, vaccine, vaccination, and immunization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines these terms as:
- Immunity – Protection from an infectious disease. If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.
- Vaccine – A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.
- Vaccination – The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.
- Immunization – A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.
Just because scientific advances have been announced does not mean that we should stop taking precautions, disregard safety measures, ignore the science, and just wait for the vaccine. Yes, we should all be optimistic about scientific research-based efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 infections, but that is only the first step, and we must do our part in this team effort. Approvals, logistics, distribution, vaccine acceptance, public confidence and targeted individuals are the next steps in the process of starting to move toward normality. Once key elements are in place, researchers around the globe will continue to track and contact-trace the virus, continue to study the vaccine’s efficacy and effectiveness, and work toward vaccine-induced herd immunity, which, based on past outbreaks, appears to require at least 60 to 70 percent of the population becoming immune.
As of November 30, 2020, COVID-19 remains rampant and is moving across the United States at an increasing rate. The research for COVID-19 vaccines is a real world experiment across boundaries. Even though vaccines are on the horizon, we must continue to do our part to control it, stay safe, and protect ourselves (and others); we must also pray and ultimately acknowledge science.
Philippians 4:6 6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Source: Bible – New American Standard (NASB))
Ministry: Health and Wellness.
Coordinator(s) and/or Volunteer(s): Leroy Mobley, Karl Spencer.
Ministry In-Brief Administrator and Volunteer(s): Karl Spencer, Yolonda Gaines.
Location: Fifth Ward Church of Christ Resource Center.
Ministry In-Brief Archive:
Resource Center Highlights
The Goals and Vision of the center are to:
(1) Offer quality resources that contribute to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of local community residents and the Greater Houston Area;
(2) Provide an opportunity for every desiring member to use their particular gifts in service to God and mankind;
(3) Cultivate a community of believers who support and encourage one another, and who ultimately bring glory to God; and
(4) Create opportunities to share the goods news of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.
Some services require pre-registration or accompaniment by a member. Space is limited. Call or email us for additional information. Tel: 713-672-2654, Email: [email protected]