When the nation—and indeed the world—faced the baffling and sometimes lethal COVID-19 virus this past spring, businesses and institutions were forced to reinvent their communication and outreach methods. The church, not immune from this ominous task, looked for ways to keep their parishioners encouraged, while simultaneously ensuring they remained engaged with church activities.
Fortunately, members of Mt. Sinai Church of Los Angeles had tech-savvy Pastor, George E. Hurtt who leaped into action and quickly crafted a virtual church ensuring that Mt. Sinai’s programming remained intact during the stay-at-home order. Some programming changed to a Zoom format, morning prayer is held via telephone and Sunday service is livestreamed. The church increased use of social media platforms like Facebook to keep members informed about coronavirus developments as well as sharing spiritual programming. With the church’s online footprint tended to, Hurtt turned his attention to rolling out a much-needed community endeavor to ease the burden of the times.
Early on, seeing a need to provide meals during the unprecedented economic uncertainty, Hurtt spearheaded a weekly “Grab and Go” program providing up to 300 meals each Sunday for the church and local community.
“The vision for the Grab and Go centered around teaming up with local restaurants to support them during a time when so many small businesses struggled to survive, while providing free, healthy meals to Mt. Sinai members and the community each Sunday, commented Pastor Hurtt.” “This is a win-win for the local business sector and our community.”
Since the start of the Grab and Go began on March 29, Mt. Sinai has paid close attention to hygienic guidelines as part of the meal distribution. The pre-packaged lunches are handed off to participants who are required to remain in their vehicles while wearing masks. The volunteers maintain an appropriate distance and wear gloves and masks during the exchange.
The Grab and Go will go on a short hiatus after the first Sunday in August. The program will return with the goal of giving out even more meals as well as book bags for area students. To support as many small businesses as possible, Mt. Sinai uses a different vendor each week for its meal program. Some of the partnering eateries have included: Delicious at the Dunbar, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Woody’s Bar-B-Que, Ooh la la Catering, Red’s Flavor Table, CW & Chris Fish and Chicken, La Shawn Tillman’s Catering, D’s Original, Gwen’s Specialty Cakes and Catering, Hotville Chicken, Shef’s Catering, The Sammiche Shoppe, Ms. Glow’s Catering, and Who’s Hungry Caribbean Café.
About Mt. Sinai Church of Los Angeles
Mt. Sinai Church seeks to uphold its mission of glorifying God by winning more Christians and developing better Christians through six pillars: worship, discipleship, evangelism, ministry, fellowship, and administration. Please tune in at 6:00 p.m. each Sunday to hear Pastor Hurtt’s live broadcast on 99.5—KKLA. Also, subscribe to the Hurtt 4 the Hurting YouTube channel.
To learn more about Mt. Sinai’s virtual services, please visit sinai.church or call the church office at (323) 291-1121. The church is located at 3669 W. 54th Street, Los Angeles 90043.