COVID-19 Resources:

In this time of Social Distancing, it is important to avoid isolation and seek out those who are.

Martin Luther, pastoring in the time of the Black Death:
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me, and I have done what He has expected of me, and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God."
~Luther's Works Volume 43 pg 132 the letter "Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague" written to Rev. Dr. John Eric Hess

Read: Paul Tripp's Blog Post: 5 Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Points Us to the Gospel.

What Element is Doing:

We have a team focused on reaching out by telephone to those within our church family weekly. In these phone calls our desire is to check on one another, offer conversation, see if there are any needs. If you would like to help us in this effort by making calls, running errands, grocery shopping, etc. please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here are some recommendations we have to stay connected with each other and opportunities to serve others. We’ll be updating this often as we go, so check back soon for other ideas/opportunities.

Staying Connected: 

The Buddy System:
We are encouraging our Gospel Communities to create a buddy system and encourage you to do the same. Find at least one person to stay in close communication with. Emails, phone calls, texts; just something to remind each other they aren’t alone. You can of course stay in contact with more than 1 but the idea is that everyone have at least 1 person checking on them.

Group Chats:
Some of our Gospel Communities have created group texts, Facebook Groups and other things to stay connected as a group during this time. This could be especially great during Live Streams so you can see who is watching with you and still feel surrounded.

Group Activities:
Find creative ways to still "hang out" with your friends. If you enjoy video games, find something you can play online with together. Netflix is offering "Watch Parties" where you can stream the same movie with each other and chat so you feel that connection - https://www.netflixparty.com/. You can also create FaceTime play dates for your kids. Apps like Marco Polo let you send video clips to each other so you still get personalized face to face interaction. If you are doing any of things with your Element friends, snap a picture and post it to social media to help us see we're not alone! Tag Element in your photo and add #ourelementathome so others can see what you're doing too!

Kids Messenger:
Facebook has launched an app called "MessengerKids" that allows parents to control who their kids can connect with, what times they are allowed to use the app and monitor conversations. The app itself allows the kids to video chat, text, play games together and just stay in contact.  This has nothing to do with making a Facebook profile for your child, just allows them to socialize with their piers

 

Community Opportunities:

Good Samaritan Shelter:
Good Samaritan has been tasked to have all clients "shelter in place" at this time. This poses a couple of unique challenges (and opportunities!).

1) Previously they have not offered lunch onsite — and that's now an immediate need!

2) Many of the groups who regularly volunteer for dinners at Good Sam (including several churches) have backed out because of COVID-19 concerns.

They have IMMEDIATE NEED for volunteers to help with meal preparation for both lunch and dinner service. Do you have people in your church who may be ready to step up and serve? I believe we can find creative ways to engage this need with both faith AND wisdom!

If you would like to find out more, please contact the Good Samaritan Food Director, David Bickham, directly. He can answer questions and coordinate group participation. Reach him at: # 805-264-3612.

 

Support:

Need Childcare? 
From Creative Beginnings Preschool in Old Orcutt... During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 virus, we want you to be aware that Creative Beginnings Preschool has a waiver to reamin OPEN at this time. With the surrounding public schools closed, many of our enrolled parents are keeping their children home and we support that. That does open up a different need in the community. Many people who are still expected to work are searching for quality childcare alternatives. We have worked with county licensing to be able to expand our license temporarily to work beyond two to six year-olds and take up to 10-year-olds. We will continue our learning programs for our enrolled students but have developed a plan to meet the needs of 6 to 10-year-olds. This will be on a week to week basis as the environment is changing rapidly. If this is something that could be of service to you or someone you know, please call Creative Beginnings at 805-938-1976. Thank you.

Meals for Minors:
Both Orcutt Union School District and Santa Maria Bonita School District are offering free breakfast and lunch for their students. Log in to your Parents Square for more details.

FoodBank Santa Barbara County:
This is a great resource for those in need or those wanting to help. Get more details here: https://foodbanksbc.org/

Financial Assistance:
If you are in need of financial assistance at this time due to missed work, shortened hours or a variety of other reasons, you may be eligible for fanancial help. Get more details here: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/#top

Free Computer Distribution
The Santa Barbara County Education Office has free refurbished computers available to distribute to students needing a device to complete homework and school assignments. Resources are limited but those interested are instructed to contact Erika Terrazas at 805-964-4710 ext 4401 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Various Resources for Reporting Domestic Violence
https://www.end-violence.org/protecting-children-during-covid-19-outbreak
https://www.thehotline.org/help/
 

Suicide Prevention
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/current-events/supporting-your-emotional-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/