Area churches are working together to provide support and resources for communities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

MINISTERIAL ASSOCIATIONS: Churches in Seward and the surrounding area are adapting with rapidly changing times. Most are going digital and finding ways to reach the most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Rev. Jo Ellen Axthelm of Seward United Methodist Church gave an update March 19 on behalf of the Seward Ministerial Association.

"Most of our church buildings are closed to foot traffic but are still available by phone. Most are going digital for worship or outreach," Axthelm said.

Pastoral care is still available to anyone in need by contact local church offices. Axthelm said the association is maintaining phone contact with the hospital for chaplain care, but pastors have suspended hospital visitation at this time.

Faith-based gatherings at nursing homes also have stopped, but churches are recording services and delivering them to nursing homes on DVD.

The pastors in the association are continuing their weekly faith columns in the Seward County Independent, and many are livestreaming Sunday services online.

Axthelm said churches also are pooling monetary resources for those in need. Contact Scott Krohn at Living Word Lutheran Church by calling (402) 643-6445. Leave a message, and you will be contacted.

FoodNet and food pantries in Seward are continuing with drive-up-style service.

"Churches are interested in knowing if there are other ways we can be of help to our communities," Axthelm said.

The Milford Ministerium has offered to make trips to grocery stores and pharmacies for people who are unable to do so during the outbreak. Call the Rev. Tim Springer at (402) 826-7529.

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