On Thursday, April 2 from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., members of the Georgetown Church of Christ will gather in the Georgetown Memorial Hospital parking lot at 606 Black River Road to sing, pray, and cheer on the caregivers as they complete shift change.

“Even while social distancing, there is a lot of good that people can still do,” Minister Dan Hager of the Georgetown church of Christ said. “In fact, heartfelt and humble prayer is the most important.”

The effort was inspired by Tidelands Health “Thank You to the Helpers” movement and similar prayer vigils being held at hospitals across the country. Hager hopes it brings glory to God, lifts the spirits of the hospital’s caregivers and patients, and encourages the community to keep doing good through our current challenges.

“Hospital caregivers are on the frontlines of this battle. They are working long hours, selflessly putting themselves at risk, and in many cases sacrificing time and closeness with their own families. They are doing it all because they care about our community. They care about us. That deserves all the prayer and encouragement for them we can muster,” Hager said.

To ensure social distancing guidelines are observed, participants will remain in their cars at the back of the Georgetown Memorial Hospital parking lot facing the main entrance. Hager will lead those gathered in familiar hymns, Scripture readings, and prayers, with periodic bursts of flashing lights, waving, and showing signs of support to caregivers entering and exiting the building.

The church will also offer a livestream of the event from its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GeorgetowncoC/ for those wishing to participate from home, especially as efforts are made to protect public health and avoid disrupting the flow of traffic around the hospital.

In addition to this vigil, the Georgetown church of Christ has remained active despite suspending in-person assemblies to protect its most vulnerable members and the community from COVID-19. Families are regularly worshipping in their homes and utilizing the church’s website and social media to live stream sermons and Bible studies. In response to the pandemic, the church has added short daily devotional videos called “Connect”, focused on how to use social distancing to grow spiritually, and even “children’s lessons” to its offerings.

These efforts are reaching far beyond the church’s membership, drawing new viewers from the community and across the country. Older and younger church members alike have been calling and delivering care packages to each other, especially to seniors and those recently laid off.

“My prayer is not that things go back to normal. It’s that we emerge from this more connected to God and to each other than ever,” Hager said.