Madison church helping furloughed workers despite announcement of shutdown deal

MADISON, Ala. - Not getting a paycheck for weeks is a big deal. It's something Asbury Church leaders believe 200 families in their congregation are enduring.

"Fear, anxiety, the grief of the loss, and so talking about that and then people are saying, 'Well, where can we turn for help,'" Lead Pastor Tommy Gray said. So, not only are we as a church trying to some things, but we are trying to help direct people to the community agencies."

Pastor Gray says the church has taken action to help.

"You look at the life of Jesus, you see a pattern repeated in His life," he continued. "Very often He would see people's pain, He was moved by compassion, and then He would act. And so then we're seeing that pain in the community, we're seeing people experience that hurt and that pain, and we're moved by that as a church, and we want to take action."

Part of what they're doing is offering free meals.

"Wednesday night meals - we're offering them free to people in our church who have been furloughed, their families, any meals for students or kids that are part of activities here," he said.

In addition to that, the church decided to give members affected by the shutdown two gift cards for groceries. One for themselves and the other for a friend, neighbor, or coworker who has also been affected by the shutdown.

"Two of the things that are central to us as a church are family and mission," Gray added. "And so we're trying to care for the family, our congregation, but we're also trying to equip them to be on mission to serve others."

He says the shutdown being over temporarily is not going to change what they are doing for members whose livelihoods have been affected.

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