Resources for a time of pandemic
Resources - a curated list
As we scramble to continue to be church in these new circumstances, our district, conference, episcopal area and denomination are flooding us with resources to make the pivot. If you saw something fly by in your e-mail and now you can't find it again, contact me (Linda, Cascadia District Administrative Assistant, at email@example.com) and I'll see if I can put my finger on it. I also offer below a list of links to resources that seem most helpful.
- If as clergy or lay leadership, you become aware that someone in your congregation has tested positive for COVID-19, click here for a list of procedures and communication protocols.
- If you have been exposed to COVID-19, click here for what to do.
And remember to do the basics:
- Update your church office voice mail message. Include
- that you are not meeting at the building for worship, and what options you are offering for worship
- any change in hours of availability
- whether they can leave a message and how soon to expect a call back and/or numbers to call for help: the pastor and anyone who is responding to needs, contacts for other groups who use your building
- a blessing for the caller!
- Update your website and FaceBook page
- Have the information about not gathering at the building for worship and the options you are offering for worship be prominent and easy to find
- Add easy-to-find instructions about how and who to contact with questions or requests for help
- Share what you are doing with the CDCES grant and other ways your congregation is helping your neighbors
- Advertise how you are doing church now, either in the local newspaper (paid ads or offer it as a story idea), FaceBook, and/or local cable and radio stations
- People who may not have ever come in your doors may now be looking for some support and encouragement, and will be willing to check out your online worship or sign up for an e-mail
- People need to hear encouraging stories about people caring for each other to counter the fear- and anxiety-producing stories they're hearing elsewhere
- Stay in touch with your members and friends
- If your congregation mostly checked in with each other on Sunday mornings, you'll need to find a new way to do that by phone, e-mail or Zoom gatherings.
- People need more contact, not less, when they are isolated and anxious
Here's that list of resource links:
Guidelines for Moving Out of Quarantine
- On May 20, 2020 the Greater Northwest Area Cabinet released a document outlining guidelines for re-opening buildings and returning to in-person ministry. You can find Reimagining Life Together by clicking here.
- The most recent version of the guidelines will always be at that link.
- Other related resources will also be posted on that page.
Other Resources for Thinking about life after we can gather again:
- How to clean your church prior to gathering again when restrictions are lifted? There is an e-mail address and a phone hotline for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 802-9205.
- DS Tim Overton-Harris recommends the article, "24 Questions Your Church Should Answer Before People Return" by Ken Braddy. Read it by clicking here.
- Cesie Delve Scheuermann's Inspiring Generosity Blog of April 22nd addressed this. Read it by clicking here.
- The Wednesday Webinars will cover this topic in a series beginning with the Webinar for May 6th. See links to the recordings of the webinars below. See the UM Connector for the registration link for the upcoming webinar.
- Centers for Disease Control guidance for faith communities: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html
- The Bishop and other leaders at both the conference and local church levels are offering webinars on Wednesdays on a variety of topics. Click here to register for Wednesday, May 20, 2020
- Recordings of past webinars are on the GNW Area's Vimeo site:
- "GNW Finance and Operations response to COVID-19" - April 3, 2020
- "Freed from Death: Signs of Life in a season of disease and death" - April 15, 2020
- "Engaging Vulnerable Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis" April 22, 2020
- "Stewardship in the Age of COVID-19 and Five Tips for Managing Your Church Budget During the COVID-19 Crisis" April 29, 2020
Setting up Video Conference meetings:
- If your church has a Zoom account, click here for information on hosting Zoom meetings
- And if you aren't the host, but have been invited to participate in a Zoom meeting from home, click here for instructions on how to do that.
Doing Worship Remotely:
- UM Open Door Churches of Salem-Keizer are sharing their online worship resources with anyone who would like to use them. There are discrete videos for instrumental music, songs(hymns) and scripture readings. More will be added each week. You can download what you like from the DropBox site without needing an account. Check it out by clicking here. If you have questions or have things you would like to share as well, contact Brian Mackey by clicking here.
- Click here for an article that does a great job of covering considerations about doing worship online
- For more detailed information about doing a live stream worship or other gathering, click here.
- For guidance from the Western Jurisdiction Bishops about observing holy communion, click here.
- And here's a link to Bishop Stanovsky discussing the pros and cons of online communion
- For guidance on conducting memorial services during this time, click here.
- If your congregation won't be putting worship online, you might want to offer information about how members can access services from other local UM churches which are. A list can be found by clicking here. If you haven't submitted your church's online worship information, please email email@example.com with your church name, time (if livestreamed), the type of platform (Zoom, YouTube, church website) and include the link.
- Beckenhorst Press is allowing local churches to use any promo recordings from their catalog or the lyric videos on YouTube. No additional iicensing or permission is required from Beckenhorst Press. You can download audio files directly from their Soundcloud site.
- The Lewis Center for Church Leadership always has practical and encouraging resources for leadership in the local church. They are stepping up to the plate with helpful materials in this time, too. Here is a link to their latest newsletter, Leading Ideas, with great information.
Supporting worship and spiritual growth at home:
- Illustrated Ministry is offering select resources free during the pandemic. Go to www.illustratedministry.com and look for the 'sign up here' banner along the top. They are also now offiering VBS materials.
- The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is offering video-based studies at greatly discounted prices through April 30. These are suitable for remote studies together. Check it out by clicking here.
- Jill Plant, deacon, is sharing resources to do Meditation Walks, which you can do individually or within your own home. She plans to share a new resource each week.
- Walking Meditation resource for Holy Week 2020, click here
Church Finances when you are not gathering:.
- Check out the new Finance and Operations Resource Page on the Greater NW Area website.
- The Wednesday Webinar for April 29th focused on stewardship and featured Cesie Delve Scheuermann (Inspiring Generosity Blog) and Ken Sloane, stewardship guru at Discipleship Ministries. See the recording on the FInance and Operations Resource Page on the Greater NW Area website
- See a recording of the Finance and Operations Webinar held on April 3 on the Finance and Operations Resource Page.
- Read this article about online giving by clicking here.
- "10 Ideas for Church Financial Leaders Amid the COVID-19 Crisis" offers suggestions across the spectrum of financial concerns. Click here to read.
- Vanco, a partner of The United Methodist Church’s General Council on Finance and Administration, is offering to waive the monthly fee for the Start Plan for online giving pages for a full year. Read more by clicking here.
- Our own Cesie Delve Scheuermann who serves as a Stewardship/Development consult to the Annual Conference, has a wealth of ideas and resources to share. Check out her Inspiring Generosity blog posts by clicking here. Recent blogs recommend a webinar, Electronic Recurring Giving: Needed Now More than Ever" and information on the Paycheck Protection Program section of the CARES Act.
- A UM Communications half-hour video with information about eGiving. Check it out by clicking here.
- Prepare to apply for support through the CARES Relief Act: https://greaternw.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Preparing-to-file-for-CARES-Act-Relief2.pdf
- Link to request a copy of the Group Ruling Request (document to confirm your church's 501(c)(3) non-profit status): http://umgroupruling.org
- IRS Publication which explains group rulings: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/group-exemption-resources then look for Publication 4573
- Read an FAQ about PPP loans by GCFA by clicking here.
- Other options if you did not get a PPP loan, read a GCFA explainer by clicking here.
Other resources for this time:
- The Greater Northwest Area website has a page for Coronavirus resources that is jam packed with information, including links to the Bishop's updates and directives, links to public health information, as well as some of the information I've listed above and more! That page is https://greaternw.org/coronavirus/
- DS Tim shared a list of recent articles after the May 24 Cascadia District webinar, "What's Next?" See that list by clicking here.
- Our denomination offers virtual worship how-tos, congregational care ideas and ways to respond at https://www.resourceumc.org/en/topics/helping-your-church-respond-to-the-coronavirus
- And umc.org offers prayer tools, encouraging podcasts and comforting articles at https://www.umc.org/en/how-we-serve/promoting-health-and-wholeness/coronavirus-information-resources
- Discipleship Ministries offers a range of resources at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/
- The General Board of Global Ministries is still working! Rev. Thomas Kemper, general secretary of GBGM, is doing 5-7 minute conversations on Facebook on Mon, Weds, and Fridays beginning April 3rd. Click here to find out more.