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 linda@umoi.org)  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.

First priority:

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:  responseinfo@greaternw.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

Wednesday Webinars:

Setting up Video Conference meetings:

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 communications@umoi.org 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:.

 

Other resources for this time:

Boldly Making Disciples of Jesus Christ - Vitalizing the Church - Transforming the World