Service and Justice While Social Distancing

“Doing and making are acts of hope and as that hope grows we stop feeling overwhelmed by the troubles of the world."

Corita Kent

Service and Justice in a Time of Social Distancing

These days we might feel helpless in the face of suffering in our community and our world. More than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic invites us to consider big questions of social justice. Campus Ministry has some ideas of how to connect at the local and global level to work for a more just and humane world.


1. Keep your (physical) distance

Right now the most important thing we can do in caring for the most vulnerable in our community, and acting for the interest of the common good, is to follow local, state, and national guidelines on social distancing and mask wearing. When we keep our distance, we're making choices to protect those most at risk in our communities. 

A person with short brown hair and glasses sits on a dorm room bed and looks at their phone.

2. Stay connected

It's more important than ever to keep connected with one another during this time, even if it must be at a distance. If you're looking for conversations partners as you explore the intersection of faith and justice this quarter, consider registering for the Ignatian Family Teach in For Justice, and check out our other Campus Ministry programming for Fall 2020 

A group of students sits in a circle in the grass in front of a wooden cabin.

3. Advocate

Our Jesuit Catholic heritage calls us to put ourselves on the side of the vulnerable and marginalized. The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing and exacerbating existing inequities while leaving many people newly vulnerable, whether to physical illness or economic hardship. If you're not sure where to begin, here are a few ideas:

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4. Take time to center yourself through prayer and contemplation

During times of catastrophe in the internet era, "thoughts and prayers" is often criticized as an inadequate response, lacking any orientation toward action for meaningful change. However, Ignatian Spirituality reminds us that it is through prayer and contemplation that we refine our powers to wisely discern right action in a complex world. Here are some of our favorite ways to pray these days:

 A series of lighted taper candles against a dark background.


5. Give what you can

In times like these, it's natural to want to hold tight to what we have, but if this pandemic is teaching us anything, it's that we are all more connected than we could have imagined. Whether of your time, talent, or treasure, there are so many ways to give right now. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you know of families in your building or neighborhood who have medical professionals who are working, offer to cook a meal or get groceries as many health care workers will not be coming home to prevent spreading infection.
  • Give blood! This is a safe way to give back to the community as blood supplies are running low in very many communities. If you're in the Seattle area, you can find more information on donating at Bloodworks Northwest.
  • Make sure you are contacting the elderly in your life through phoning, screen time, and good, old fashioned mail. If you don’t have a person in your life who is isolated due to age or medical condition, find out from friends and neighbors if there is anyone you can be in touch with. 
  • Donate online to charities that are providing immediate assistance. Here are some ideas: your local food bank, those who are caring for unhoused people, organizations creating protective gear for hospitals and first responders...
  • If you are a regular church-goer, then remember to send in your tithe, either online or by mail, to make sure that the employees of the church will get their paychecks.
  • Consider giving to the Seattle University Student Emergency Needs Fund, which will be helping SU students who have been particularly impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Two brown paper bags full of groceries.


5. Get local!

Whether you find yourself in Seattle or across the globe, now is the time to support the community where you find yourself. Our colleagues at the Center for Community Engagement have pulled together some helpful resources on their page "Supporting Our Community During Challenging Times." Though the resources are focused on Seattle, regardless of where you are located this might give you some good ideas for what to look for in your local community.

A person in a white shirt and black pants with blonde hair stands in a garden in front of a mural that reads