The Heights Church in Richardson received about 2,700 lbs. of nonperishable food, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels and napkins valued at more than $4,500 during a three-day collection to serve its community during the COVID-19 crisis. The church sponsored a drive-through drop-off collection March 16-18 to benefit the local Network of Community Ministries, families in the Richardson Independent School District and its own Heights Ministries, which serves vulnerable families in the area. Much of the food—primarily macaroni and cheese, canned goods and pasta—collected on March 16 was distributed on March 17. “God richly blessed our efforts,” said Richard Covington, missions pastor at The Heights. “The more we worked with these groups, we saw the need was already greater than we imagined.” The church will sponsor another drop-off collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 23-25 at the drive-through outside the main entrance to its worship center, with an additional collection from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Due to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding group gatherings, the Baptist General Convention of Texas has postponed all events for Texas Baptists through April 15. Events beyond that date will be evaluated by leaders, with updates posted here. Resources for preschool and children are being made available at no cost through Texas Baptists’ Great Commission Team and BaptistWay Press. To download preschool resources, click here. To download resources for children, click here. Downloadable no-cost Bible study materials for adults on the theme “Faith > Fear” are being offered by BaptistWay Press here.
As a safety measure against the spread of COVID-19, Buckner Retirement Services implemented a limited-access visitation policy at noon on March 13 at its six communities—Buckner Villas in Austin, Parkway Place in Houston, Ventana by Buckner in Dallas, Calder Woods in Beaumont, Westminster Place in Longview and Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo. The limited-access policy forbids access to all visitors with limited exceptions, such as end-of-life situations. Visitors making end-of-life visits will be screened and required to follow strict hygiene and safety rules. The policy follows guidelines provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and complies with directives from Gov. Greg Abbott, who declared a State of Emergency on March 13. “We are taking similar measures with our international programs to monitor outbreaks in their respective countries and to align with local government restrictions,” said Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International. “We have cancelled all international mission trips until June 1 and will re-evaluate the situation at that time.”
The previously announced retirement reception for Craig Vire, originally scheduled for March 29 at Bethesda Baptist Church in Burleson, has been postponed due to restrictions on group gatherings.