A Message from Kelly Shackelford
I want to reach out to each of you as special First Liberty supporters to share what’s on my heart regarding the current Coronavirus Pandemic, as we find ourselves in the middle of a nationwide “self-quarantine” period to help blunt the exponential spread of this highly-contagious virus.
I firmly believe that the best way for us to overcome this crisis is through unity, empathy and sacrifice…not fear and panic.
And while we each practice the protective measures of “social distancing” among others, I know that right now is the time for us to come together as a First Liberty family. Even if we can’t do so physically, we can unite in other ways, including spiritually.
Over these past few days, we’ve been reaching out to you and many of our supporters to offer our prayers and support. Our entire staff prayed for you this Monday in our staff meeting. Our concern for you and your family is foremost in our hearts. You’ve stood firm with us through the years, and we want you to know how grateful we are for your generosity and support through our toughest battles. You can be sure that we will stand with you and your family.
I also want to take this opportunity to share with you some encouraging news about efforts happening among our local faith communities.
For starters, we recently released Guidance for Churches and Religious Institutions to help during this crucial time, which you can download here. I urge you to download this helpful information and share it with your local church or house of worship. It offers timely insight on how we can make sure that religious liberty continues to be respected, so that Americans like you can keep worshipping and living out your faith as our Constitution intended.
Additionally, I want to share some great examples of community outreach efforts happening at churches across the country. Perhaps they may inspire you, especially if you’re looking to do similar outreach in your own hometown:
- Setting up a drive-thru on church campuses to distribute free food and hand-sanitizer (made by the church) to families in need.
- Conduct a board game drive, to sanitize and distribute games to local nursing homes.
- Have children write cards that can be sterilized and delivered to local hospitals and nursing homes.
- A prayer and counseling hotline that can bless, encourage and support those who are fearful or depressed.
- Local community centers opening their doors so that people can shower, do laundry and use the Internet to communicate with loved ones.
- Ordering pizza or picking up groceries for elderly neighbors or family who are stuck at home, or simply making a phone call to see how they’re doing.
- Develop a program for first responders and health care workers that delivers cookies, cards and other items to show our appreciation and gratitude.
- Gather groups to go and donate blood, or even setting up a community or work drive for blood donations…a huge need right now.
You get the idea. And the list of ideas goes on and on. But the key thing I want you to know is that we have a real opportunity to show others that God is in control, and that He loves us, and through us, He will meet their needs.
Right now, our pastors, churches and houses of worship are coming under a lot of pressure. Now is the time to stand strong together. This is one of the reasons why we fight for religious freedom; so, in times like these, our religious institutions and houses of worship can shine and serve. At a time when some are hoarding and looking inward, these churches and religious groups are reaching out, serving others.
That’s why I want to encourage you to reach out to us here at First Liberty. We are a resource for you and your families, whether it’s for prayer or further guidance on issues affecting your church.
We are here to support you.
With God’s grace…nothing is impossible. I see great things ahead, even a country that’s stronger, more unified and has been reminded of its roots in faith and service.
So, let’s be the light…and go All In.
Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.
President, CEO & Chief Counsel