Crisis Care in the Post-Covid Church
Leader: Kristen CurtisWhen the governor’s “Safer at Home” orders came out in March of 2020, many Virginians stopped gathering with churches, family, and friends. Even going to the grocery store or pharmacy for needed items could feel life-threatening in the face of unclear information about how the Coronavirus was spread. Add in the polarizing nature of the 2020 elections and their aftermath and the increases in racial tension in 2020, along with more recent tensions about whether or not to be vaccinated and its implications for personal and community and a picture of communities in tension and individuals who feel isolated, anxious, and afraid emerges pretty clearly. As the world begins to open back up to in-person gatherings and mask-less interactions, there is a tremendous opportunity for the Church to be a source of hope, help, and healing in our communities. But how do we do this well and not simply go back to “business as usual” with the people who show up in our sanctuaries on Sunday mornings? In this session, we’ll be applying some of the principles used by the Crisis Care Team of Virginia Baptist Disaster Response to care for the spiritual and emotional needs of disaster survivors to talk about ways to care well for our neighbors in this unique and on-going disaster the entire world is facing. We’ll focus on ways to listen well, respond empathetically, and encourage people in ways that connect them with the love of God and God’s people in meaningful ways.
Kristen Curtis, Training and Crisis Care Team Coordinator – Virginia Baptist Disaster Response
Kristen Curtis serves as the Training and Crisis Care Team Coordinator for Virginia Baptist Disaster Response. Primarily, she works to train BGAV volunteers to support disaster survivors through a hot meal, through spiritual and emotional care, and through the cleanup and rebuilding process in areas devastated by natural and man-made disasters.
This is more than a job to Kristen, as she lives just a few miles from where tornadoes touched down in Appomattox County in February of 2016 and she began her career with disaster response coordinating volunteers locally. Making connections between Virginia Baptists and her neighbors in need and helping them find a “new normal” while experiencing the love of God in a very tangible way through the efforts of his people created a passion for continuing this work on a larger scale, responding to other localities touched by disaster. As a pastor’s wife, she also loves helping churches connect disaster response skills and principles with local church ministry.
In addition to her work with Disaster Response, Kristen’s primary ministry is as a mother of 3 children (Morgan, 17; Cate, 15; and John, 12) and wife to Scott (pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Farmville, VA).