CHURCH RESPONSE RESOURCES
ELCA: Returning to In-person Worship – This will assist your Covid-19 planning team in formulating procedures and timetables to resume in-person worship.
Pennsylvania Law on Virtual Meetings -Certain conditions must be met in order for nonprofit governing bodies, such as congregation councils and congregational meetings, to meet officially.
ELCA: FAQ on Virtual and Remote Meetings – Guidance for holding congregational meetings when folks can’t physically gather.
ELCA: Guidance on Attendance – Here is our church’s advice on how to keep track of attendance when worship is done virtually.
ELCA: Prayers for Times of Public Health Concerns, COVID-19 -Our Churchwide office has prepared new prayers for use in the coronavirus crisis, as well as assembled prayers from other sources.
ELCA: Guidelines for Funeral Practices in a Public Health Crisis (Updated 3/20/20) – Helpful suggestions for ministering to the bereaved and handling funeral arrangements in these days of COVID-19.
Guide for Christian Funerals during COVID-19 – Excellent advice from the Massachusetts Council of Churches.
ELCA: How to Stream Your Worship Service — A Starter Guide (Updated 3/13/20) – Many congregants should be encouraged to stay away from worship: those who are sick, certainly, and those whose health or age puts them at special risk for COVID-19. Some congregations may decided to cancel worship altogether. How to serve them? Digital technology offers solutions. This ELCA guide can help.
ELCA: Worship in Times of Public Health Concerns (Updated 3/12/20) – Our Churchwide ministry has assembled commonsense advice on how to conduct worship that glorifies God but also minimizes the chances of coronavirus infection to God’s people.
LDR: Congregational Planning Checklist for a Pandemic (Updated 3/11/20) – Lutheran Disaster Response offers a guide for your congregation on how to plan for the impact of a pandemic in your church.
LWF: Intercessory Prayers Amid the Spread of COVID-19 – Lutheran World Federation offers these prayers.
Preparing Your Church for Coronavirus – The Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College has prepared this excellent, insightful guide for congregational leaders leading their congregations in this difficult time.
Timothy Wengert on Eucharistic Practices – One of our church’s eminent Luther scholars (and co-editor of the 2000 Book of Concord), Dr. Wengert gives a historical perspective on the Lord’s Supper in times of crisis.
10 Guidelines for pastoral care during the coronavirus crisis – From Christian Century, a wonderful reminder about the need to be a nonanxious shepherd to God’s people, as well as tips for how to care for people while maintaining physical distance.
Pandemic Hope Devotional – Help God’s people through this crisis with prayer and Scripture. This simple devotional provides some faithful steps to work though this crisis. There are daily Bible readings and activities geared for families. For those who may unexpectedly have children at home due to cancelled school, the activities may help keep children and caretakers engaged in healthy activities. From FAITH5.
Preparedness Guide for Houses of Worship – The Centers for Disease Control released this guide to help churches and other community organizations get ready for an outbreak of coronavirus. Put together an emergency plan BEFORE the virus reaches your area. Now that’s smart.
PUBLIC HEALTH RESOURCES
Covid-19 Risks: Know Them, Avoid Them – This blog post by immunology expert Erin Bromage explains in clear language the dynamics of COVID-19.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC is a storehouse of accurate, authoritative and updated information. It’s coronavirus page (linked above) tells you everything you need to know and more.
The National Institutes of Health – As the CDC, the NIH’s coronavirus page has information you can rely on.
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Health – You can get updates on what’s happening here in the Keystone State from the DPH coronavirus page.
PASTORAL MESSAGES ON CORONAVIRUS
Video: – LSS Bishop James Dunlop shares questions and concerns about reopening our churches in our synod. Posted 5/21/20.
March 20: ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Message – Let’s fast from Holy Communion during the COVID-19 crisis.
March 19: LSS Bishop James Dunlop’s Message on COVID-19 – Our synod is extending until March 31 the recommendation to suspend worship.
March 13: LSS Bishop James Dunlop’s Pastoral Letter on COVID-19. Our synod recommends suspending worship and activities for two weeks.
March 13: LSS Bishop James Dunlop’s Video Message: Synod recommends suspending worship and activities for two weeks.
Video: ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton on COVID-19
LSS Bishop James Dunlop’s Pastoral Message on the Coronovirus – “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus said again and again. We are wise to cling to Jesus’ words, but we also remember our special calling to be salt of the earth and light to the world. Amid the coronavirus crisis, let us be smart, well-informed, careful, and proactive to lead our people wisely and responsibly.
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Pastoral Letter on COVID-19 – When the plague returned to Wittenburg, Germany, in 1527, people didn’t know what to do. Martin Luther responded with his essay, “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague.” In it, he emphasized the duty to care for the neighbor, the responsibility of government to protect and provide services to its citizens, a caution about recklessness, and the importance of science, medicine and common sense. As the coronavirus emergency unfolds, Luther’s advice speaks to us today.