Archive for COVID-19

Eleven Tips for Responding to Children’s Fears and Concerns Following a Disaster

  • Parents, teachers and caregivers are the key to helping children work through their feelings following a disaster.
  • Pray with children for the victims of the disaster. Simple prayers, like: Dear God, help and bless the people who lived through the storm. Guard them all with your care. Amen.
  • Discuss openly with children what your family and church are doing to help those who have been hurt by the disaster.
  • Limit trauma by protecting children from ongoing media images of the disaster that may only contribute to fear and helplessness. Limit exposure to continuing news stories and hold adult conversations only when children are not present.
  • Reassure children as you listen to their fears. Children experience the same feelings as adults, so it is important and reasonable to validate their feelings while keeping a positive future orientation.
  • Contact organizations in your area that address the needs of children.
  • Provide structure through routine and activity. Routines and activities help regain a sense of control when all else feels out of control.
  • Make objects that encourage play reenactment of the images children observe during and after a disaster.
  • Let children draw pictures or journal about the disaster. Ask children to draw or write whatever comes to their minds, or give them a question or topic to draw about. Create a group mural or collage that illustrates the images children have seen. Follow up with a discussion with a parent or small group.
  • Group discussions are helpful for validating children’s feelings about the images they see or the conversations they hear about the disaster. Most importantly, end the discussion on a positive note by assuring children of God’s love. Scripture, like “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” from Psalm 46 is one example of scripture that can bring children comfort.
  • Develop a family disaster plan for the types of natural disasters that may happen in your area. Role-play some possible situations. Knowing that you are prepared will help children cope with fears that they may find themselves separated from family in the event of a disaster.
  • Do good. Doing good for others help children overcome the sense of powerlessness. For example, let children help purchase and assemble health kits, layettes or flood buckets. See for information on how to assemble kits.


Coronavirus Update: Message from Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Greetings Friends,

As instruction to ‘shelter in place’ continues to come from counties across California and Nevada, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño shares a special video message with our faith families across the connection requesting that church buildings be closed.

Please share back with us the many ways in which you are continuing to worship in new ways and to serve your communities during this time in which we are needing to distance ourselves physically from one another. Post your tips and ideas on the California-Nevada Facebook page.

Here are some things that all of our faith communities could consider doing during this time.

  • Deliver meals
  • Donate to open food banks or food programs
  • Deliver pharmacy orders
  • Do doorstep check-ins
  • Provide text or phone check-ins
  • Donate blood (there is a real shortage)
  • Put together and deliver hygiene kits to shelter

Let’s stay connected as a conference family, especially in this time.

Your Sister in Christ,

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño


“No Matter What Happens We Are Together”

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”                                                          Psalm 46:1-3

It is written that people often define their lives by some major event or experience.  This is especially true for a life-shaping disaster.  I know that you’ll agree that this is happening to us—and the rest of the world, with the onslaught of the coronavirus. 

It seems almost impossible that this is happening, and certainly in my lifetime I’ve never seen anything like it.  It reminds us of 9/11, and some of us have experienced other disasters.  Yet, COVID-19 seems different in so many ways. 

I was in a conference call today via an online application called Zoom with other COPA (Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action,) leaders led by our very own Mayra Bernabe, to talk about what is happening in our local institutions.  We shared how people are panicking, hoarding food and supplies, and basically freaking out as they shelter in place.  Now that all the schools are closed, parents are trying their best to maintain order in the home, and lack of childcare is an issue.  Some who are financially secure feel like they will get by okay, but others, especially families in poverty with little financial reserves, face inescapable suffering ahead.  Plus, we know the virus causes many deaths.  We’re not at the end of this crisis. 

Sheltering in place is absolutely the right thing for us to be doing now as we attempt to “flatten the curve,” and lessen the impact of the disease on the population.  But I’ll be honest; it feels totally weird.  Sure, some industries are exempt, and for good reason, including food production, emergency responders, hospitals, etc., but the rest of us must now physically and socially distant ourselves from everyone—six feet minimum!—unless it’s a close family member.  And that’s hard.

Besides fear, we can feel lonely, isolated, and overwhelmed.  When we listen to the news, we feel bombarded by conflicting reports and panic.      

What’s a believer to do?  We must turn to God.  We must turn to God.  As the Scripture says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  There aren’t many guarantees in life, but “what is guaranteed is that when we trust in God, God will be with us.  God never meant for us to be alone, ever.  God is with us in the worst and in the best of times.  Even in death, God promises to meet us on the other side.”

I pray we reorder our priorities, take stock, and prepare to live as Christ taught us in this new world.  Won’t you join me?


Pastora Robin




Quiero ponerles al día sobre el estado de nuestra iglesia durante esta pandemia de COVID-19.

Cuando el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Santa Cruz nos comunicó el lunes por la tarde la Orden de cierre, tomamos medidas inmediatas.

  • Cerramos nuestro edificio y cancelamos la adoración hasta el 6 de abril, o hasta que se levante la prohibición.
  • Hemos cancelado todas las reuniones en persona y otras personas que usan la iglesia, incluidos los grupos AA / NA, Girl Scouts, etc. Nuestra oficina de la iglesia, el equipo de limpieza y el personal de NETworX, ahora se están refugiando en sus hogares.
  • Estoy trabajando desde la casa y estoy disponible por correo electrónico ( Llámenme cuando quieren.
  • Un miembro de nuestra Directiva que vive cerca de la iglesia está a cargo de mantener la instalación segura.
  • Nuestra Coordinadora de la Oficina está respondiendo a cualquier consulta o pregunta que tenga sobre los procedimientos por correo electrónico desde la dirección de correo electrónico de nuestra iglesia:
  • Solo estamos abriendo el edificio para nuestra alimentación continua de personas sin hogar en el Ejército de Salvación y otras necesidades.

Pero eso no es todo. ¡Aunque nuestro edificio permanece cerrado, puede estar seguro de que nuestra comunidad de la iglesia todavía está aquí!

 Nuestro equipo técnico y yo estamos explorando nuestras opciones digitales para reunirnos en línea. Hay muchas pautas legales que deben cumplirse, por lo que nos estamos poniendo al día sobre la mejor manera de proceder.

Además, nuestros líderes están comenzando a reunirse a través de Zoom en línea, que proporciona una forma segura de comunicarse como grupo, ya sea mediante audio simple (teléfono) o con capacidades de video utilizando la aplicación Zoom. Nos estamos comunicando con otros y haciendo planes sobre cómo podemos seguir conectados.

O para decirlo de otra manera, estamos tratando de amarnos unos a otros y hacer el trabajo de Cristo en este mundo aterrador de maneras nuevas, creativas y significativas.

¿Su parte en esto? Sus oraciones y apoyo son definitivamente necesarios. También sepan que estamos pensando en ustedes y que los amamos y oramos por ustedes. Por favor, manténganse en contacto y díganos cómo se está enfrentando la situación, si usted o su familia necesitan ayuda y si conoce a alguien más en nuestra comunidad de la iglesia que necesita nuestra ayuda.

Y finalmente les dejo estas palabras tranquilizadoras de la Escritura:

“¿Quién nos separará del amor de Cristo? ¿Las penurias, la angustia, la persecución, el hambre, la desnudez, el peligro o la espada? … No, en todas estas cosas somos más que vencedores por medio de aquel que nos amó porque estoy convencido de que ni la muerte, ni la vida, ni los ángeles, ni los gobernantes, ni las cosas presentes, ni las cosas por venir, ni los poderes, ni la altura, ni la profundidad, ni ninguna otra cosa en toda la creación, podrán separarnos del amor de Dios en Cristo Jesús, nuestro Señor “. (Romanos 8: 35-39)

Manténganse al tanto.

Suya en Cristo,

Pastora Robin

Watsonville First United Methodist Church

229 Stanford Street Watsonville, CA 95076

Phone: (831) 724-4434   Fax: (831) 724-8602




Dear Ones:

I want to bring you up to date on the status of our church during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

When we got the word late Monday afternoon of the Order by the Santa Cruz County Health Department to close, we took immediate action.  

  • We have closed our building and cancelled worship until April 6, or until the ban is lifted.  
  • We have cancelled all in-person meetings, and others using the church including AA/NA groups, Girl Scouts, etc.  Our church office, Clean Team and NETworX staff, are now sheltering at home.  
  • I am working from home and available via my cell (831) 320-0276, or my email Call me anytime.  
  • A member of our Trustees (Carrye Cheaney) who lives near the church is in charge of keeping the facility safe.  
  • Our Office Manager Erika Bernabe is handling any inquiries or questions you have about procedures via email from our church email address:
  • We are only opening the building for our continued feeding of the homeless at the Salvation Army, and other necessities.  

But that’s not all.  Although our building remains closed, you can rest assured that our church community is still here!

Our Tech Team and I are exploring our digital options for gathering together online.  There are a lot of legal guidelines which must be complied with, so we are getting up to speed on how best to proceed.  Plus, our leaders are beginning to meet together via Zoom online, which provides a safe way to communicate as a group, either by simple audio (telephone,) or with video capabilities using the Zoom app.  We are communicating with others and making plans on how we can best remain connected.  

Or to put it another way, we are trying to love one another and do Christ’s work in this scary world in new, creative and meaningful ways.  

Your part in this?  Your prayers and support are definitely needed.  Also know we are thinking of you and love you and are praying for you.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are coping, if you or your family need help, and if you know anyone else in our church community who needs our help.

And finally I leave you these reassuring words of Scripture:

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Stay tuned.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson

Watsonville First United Methodist Church

229 Stanford Street Watsonville, CA 95076

Phone: (831) 724-4434   Fax: (831) 724-8602