SALEM, Va. – CommUNITY Church Pastor Tom McCracken usually has a hopeful message for every situation. This Sunday, congregation members wrote messages instead, in order to encourage a nursing home afflicted with coronavirus cases.
These signs remind them that they are loved, they are cared for, and they are prayed for," McCracken said.
Churchgoers displayed the signs during service, which included messages such as “God Loves You" and “South Roanoke Nursing Home: We Are With You.”
“I hope it brings their spirits up and turns the Lord to help them get through it," said church member James Wright, who made a sign in support of South Roanoke.
As previously reported, 33 residents and 28 staff members at the nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Ten nursing home residents have died.
McCracken said the situation at South Roanoke has personally affected the church.
“We have almost a dozen [residents related to church members]," McCracken said. "One of the most tragic stories is a church member whose dad has COVID-19. He’s watching his friends disappear.”
The church collected the signs and plans to hand them to South Roanoke when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, McCracken hopes the residents and staff of the nursing home know much they are supported by church members.
“We want South Roanoke to realize today, as they see the signs representing people that care, that as long as there is a God, there is hope,” McCracken said.