Gift of time

Linda Neiswender


As the Covid-19 pandemic raged and people found themselves confined to home this past year, many wondered what to do, with venues closed and activities curtailed. JustServe, an initiative sponsored by the Church to connect volunteers with service opportunities in the community, helped fill the void.

JustServe offers a broad array of projects to meet the interests of volunteers. Although some opportunities were curtailed during the lockdown, Covid-friendly projects continued. Many sewed scrubs and face masks to donate to medical workers, some knitted hats, scarves, and mittens for the homeless. Others made blankets. In Manchester, coats and other donations were collected for the homeless.

Catherine Jolliffe, who, along with her husband, has been with JustServe for three years, commented, “When someone makes a real difference, their hearts are touched, and they want to continue serving.”

Martin and Judith Cook were called last May to lead the work in the Manchester Area, where they have helped establish new connections. Covid-19 restrictions have limited the number of projects available there. One available project of note is the Lancashire ‘befriending service’, in which volunteers call a socially isolated person once a week. As lockdown ends, the Cooks look forward to increased social interaction, with many wonderful service opportunities becoming available.

Martin looks at the lockdown as a gift of time. Virtual meetings have replaced live ones, with travel time eliminated. This can amount to an hour or more each week that, for some, can be used to serve. In his view, “As we come out of lockdown, JustServe will provide a pivotal point for the entire Church to engage with its communities, to live the second great commandment, to assist in the gathering of Israel, and prepare for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

More information can be found on Facebook at Members and friends are encouraged to sign up at and find opportunities to help.

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