Chaplains and groups across the country are sharing resources that might be helpful for our communities during this difficult time. Feel free to try them out!

Caring for Self and Others in Hard Times

by Alexander Levering Kern, Northeastern University Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service (adapted from the Northeastern University’s Office of Spiritual Life)

  • Breathe. Breathe. Breathe some more. Take time in your day, at any moment, to take ten deep even breaths. Carve out 5-10 minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness or contemplative prayer. Start here, now, wherever you are.
  • Ground yourself in the present moment. Focus your awareness on something real, enduring, or beautiful in your surroundings. Look up often. Discover the wonder and awe that is already here.
  • Acknowledge your fears, anxieties, concerns. Offer them up in prayer, if you pray. Write them in your journal. Share them with others. Feel what you feel, honor it, and know that it is not the final word.
  • Remember you are not alone. Ever. You are surrounded by care and support. Reach out.
  • Create and sustain community. Show up for one another. Listen compassionately. Practice empathy. Even while avoiding “close physical contact,” message the people you care about. Stand with those most vulnerable and those who suffer the brunt of prejudice and fear. Check in on folks.  Call your mother, father, guardian, mentor, little sibling, long lost friend
  • Unplug, judiciously. While staying aware of developments, do not let the Corona-chaos govern you, but forgive yourself when and if it does.
  • Practice kindness. There is a temptation in health scares to view others as potential threats. Remember we are in this together. While practicing health guidelines and appropriate caution, remember to engage one another. 
    Smile when you can. Bring good deeds and good energy into our world.
  • Stay healthy through sleep, diet, exercise. See healing and wellness holistically – mind, body, and spirit.
  • Make art. Discover, imagine, engage your hopes and fears, the beauty and ugliness of our world. Write, paint, sing, dance, soar.
  • Practice gratitude. In the face of crises, take note of the things for which you are grateful: your breath, the particular shade of the sky at dusk – or dawn. The color blue, the color green, the gifts and strengths you have, other people in your life, the ability to laugh. A pet.
  • Connect with your spiritual, religious, humanist, cultural, or other communities. Find strength and solace and power in traditions, texts, rituals, practices, holy times and seasons.
  • Pray, if you do and as you are able, silently, through song, in readings, through ancestors. Remember the long view of history, the rhythms and cycles of nature, the invisible threads that connect us all.
  • Practice hope. Trust in the future and our power to endure and persist.  “The arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

Used by permission – 03/12/2020

Daily Centering and Reflection

The Harvard Divinity School chaplain has passed along a daily multi-faith time of centering and reflection, led by two HDS alumni and a non-profit called the Sacred Design Lab.

Join us every weekday at 12pm Eastern Time [1pm Central Time] for the foreseeable future, for a gentle, 25-minute intentional experience of shared reflection. Together, we’ll light a candle, share silence, music, and text, reflect in small groups, and receive a blessing.

We call this “Family Chapel” because it comes from Sue’s family home, where she and her wife Tandi Rogers start most mornings with this practice. It is also something we love doing to ground our times together!

We use the same format and reflection materials throughout the week, so that the shape and substance of the experience has a chance to work on us. Family chapel invites each participant to enrich and explore their own spiritual life, evoking that which is beyond ourselves but to which we are connected by essence and aspiration. We never seek uniformity of belief or practice in family chapel, and we draw inspiration from many traditions.

So, if you need to take a breath or just want to connect with folks, join us.

  • Where: Join our online Zoom session or dial (646) 558-8656 with meeting ID: 617 803 1116
  • When: Weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Central Time for 30 minutes

Please join us after each gathering for informal hang-out time and connection, if you’d like to linger for a while.

We hope you’ll join us in the coming days.

Casper, Sue and Angie

Casper ter Kuile, HDS MDiv ’15; Angie Thurston, HDS MDiv ’15; and Sue 
Phillips of the Sacred Design Lab

© 2019 Sacred Design Lab. All rights reserved.
25 Lexington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238.

Used by Permission – 3/18/20

Volunteer or Donate

Wherever you are, there are people in need of help, physically (if you can do so safely) or through donations of food, clothing, and money.  Here in Northfield, the Community Action Center (CAC) Executive Director Scott Wopata sent out this helpful (and a bit humorous) note.

At the guidance of medical professionals, CAC has organized a smaller volunteer force to safely continue supporting our food shelf.  They are washing hands every 15 minutes and are sanitizing constantly. It is critical to the success of our community and CAC’s mission that these control measures be in full force. Implementing these control measures at scale, across hundreds of volunteers becomes extraordinarily difficult. So here’s what you can do:

  • Stay home. Stay home as a rebellious act against the tyrannical aspirations of an infuriating virus.
  • Need to make amends for the guilt of stockpiling for the apocalypse?  No one needs those supplies more than low-income families supported by CAC. Find peace and absolution by donating them today.
  • Visit our website to learn more and even register for our contact list to be contacted as volunteer needs arise or as some of us step aside to rest, heal, and quarantine in the days and weeks to come. If you have healthcare expertise, janitorial skills, or sanitation supplies, we can use you immediately. Please contact us ASAP at
  • We need you to be our eyes throughout the community. Safely check on those around you and work with CAC to ensure they have what they need. We are here to empower you to safely support your neighbor. If you or someone you know needs help, contact us at 507-664-3550 or
  • You can support CAC’s efforts financially through a general contribution or to our COVID-19 Assistance Fund.

It’s OK to be overwhelmed. It’s alright to be frustrated that you can’t get in front of this thing. We all feel that way and we can find solidarity if we’re open and honest with each other. Grieve, hope, mourn, and celebrate together. It is such a humbling honor to work alongside all of you. 

Scott Wopata, Executive Director of the Northfield Community Action Center

Used by permission – 3/18/2020

Behavioral Health and Emergency Preparedness Resource List

You may find a few resources and helpful information through the MN Department of Health website.