virtual prayer meeting Covid-19

Shirkey Hospice Chaplain Bill Purcell quotes scriptures (in hand) to a Facebook Live audience for a drive-in and virtual prayer service. Attendees flashed their emergency blinkers to show support. They also prayed for workers’ wellbeing in their cars.

Drive-in prayer participant praying

Even as we social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, spiritual connections can be seen and felt.

Richmond Ministerial Alliance offered much-needed support with a drive-in and virtual prayer service for Richmond’s health care professionals on Wednesday.

Vehicles rolled into Shirkey Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Oak Ridge Assisted Living & Memory Care and Ray County Memorial Hospital prior to the 6:30 p.m. service. Abiding by Missouri’s social distancing mandate, those who came stayed in their vehicles. But, they made their presence known by flashing their emergency blinkers. Members waved to health care staff who came to work the evening shift.

With his wife, Paula, holding his phone on a selfie stick, Shirkey Hospice chaplain Bill Purcell gathered a larger virtual community prayer service in his SUV by utilizing Facebook Live on the alliance’s social media page.

“Tonight, we want to pray for them and unite in prayer around the Lord Jesus Christ to ask for His protection,” he said of the workers and those who are under quarantine.

For the protection of our residents, no visitors are permitted at Oak Ridge Assisted Living or at Shirkey Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. This precaution is to safeguard residents from the Covid-19 coronavirus, a respiratory disease that can be detrimental to elders or to those with serious underlining health conditions. High-risk groups include those with lung (respiratory) or heart disease or diabetes.

Families and friends are encouraged to call their loved ones at these communities to share their love.

Chris Brown, CEO of Shirkey Health Services, said prayers from the spiritual community are greatly appreciated to buoy the spirits of staff and residents.

“I sincerely want to thank the Ministerial Alliance and all of their members who participated. And all of my staff send a big ‘Thank You’!” Brown said.

Purcell, a ministerial alliance member, said Wednesday was the first of weekly virtual prayer services for first responders, health care, government and education professionals. Services will begin at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday.