(Listed in date order, from most recent to least)
From NPR: A Must For Millions, Zoom Has A Dark Side — And An FBI Warning (April 3)
The ELCA bishops of Texas and Louisiana have prepared sermons for the Triduum, both in video and written format. Those can be found at https://gulfcoastsynod.org/resources-during-the-pandemic. Other resources will be coming overtime. (March 31)
From ELCA lawyers (March 31): There have been questions about the CARES ACT and how it might benefit our communities. Our Churchwide Legal Team has developed multiple resources available at https://www.elca.org/publichealth, including updates and Resources on COVID-19-related Benefits for ELCA Congregations, Synods, Other Ministries and their Employees (https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/COVID-19_Relief_Summary_033020.pdf) and a summary of Cares Act Provisions (https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/CARES_Act_summary_033020v2.pdf).
Love For Neighbor (March 29)
More from the ELCA (March 27):
The churchwide office is launching a comprehensive Covid-19 response across the ELCA beginning today. We have three new approaches designed to provide several levels of support for our most vulnerable congregations and ministries. These three approaches are Daily Bread Grants, Here to Serve, and the Covid-19 Response Appeal.
DAILY BREAD GRANTS
ELCA World Hunger is announcing the immediate launch of Daily Bread Matching Grants. Through these grants, ELCA congregations can raise funds for their feeding ministries using an online fundraising platform and will receive a grant of $500 from ELCA World Hunger. Up to 100 Daily Bread Matching Grants are available for ELCA congregations on a first-come, first-served basis, with the possibility of more grants becoming available in the future. Apply or donate here.
HERE TO SERVE
The churchwide organization is inherently a resource in support of the members, congregations, synods and partners of the ELCA. During this time, Domestic Mission will pivot to a project-based, service-oriented structure so this church knows we are here to serve. By the first week of April, we will launch a chat function on ELCA.org along with an 800 hotline for prayer, support and questions that will be answered by our staff. As soon as these channels are live, we will let you know.
COVID-19 RESPONSE APPEAL
It’s more important now than ever to support our church across the country through these difficult times. We will begin to raise funds to support our congregations, ministries and synods. This effort will launch the week of March 30 via email and social media with a special form online to donate.
In addition to our new three-pronged response, our work continues in providing and updating resources on ELCA.org/publichealth. We are also still at work in the world. Our global mission work continues and grows in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working with our global companions to provide support where we can.
From LEAD: Holy Week Liturgies (March 27)
Set up online giving with one of the ELCA’s preferred vendors at a negotiated reduced cost for ELCA congregations: https://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Congregations-and-Synods/Communication-Tools/Preferred-Vendors (March 26)
Acknowledging Grief and Telling the Truth (March 24)
Youth / Family resources: Puppet ministry idea (March 24)
Message from Bishop Gronberg: Pastoral and Theological Reflections on Holy Communion in the time of COVID-19 (March 23)
A “Generational” Moment (March 22)
Facebook Live: If you’re considering using Facebook Live for worship streaming, please know that the feed is often a problem on Sunday mornings because churches overwhelm their bandwith (long before COVID-19), and Facebook is often zealous in cutting you off for violating copyright (even if you are actually following the rules). A workaround: record the service at an earlier time, share the recording as a “premiere,” and encourage some of your tech-savvy members to host watch parties and interact with others. At the very least, make sure you have a recording being made of the service. (March 21)
SW PA Synod call with an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh: Best Practices for Safe Ministry Gatherings (March 20)
The video and resources recommended can be found here: swpasynod.org/safe-gatherings
From Affinity: Apps free for 3 months, 50% off creative apps, and pledging to engage 100 creatives with paid work (March 19)
There’s a growing anxiety within clergy and lay leaders around giving and financial issues with worship being cancelled in most settings. I am available to have conversations with pastors and lay leaders about addressing current stewardship concerns in their congregation. I’m not charging a fee for these conversations. I have the time available at the moment since I’m not doing consulting with congregations right now. Our individual and congregational giving in a time of health and economic anxiety is something which will need to be addressed. I’m glad to assist in whatever way that I can. – Pastor Don Haven, President and Lead Consultant, Abundant Congregations, LLC, Phone: 916-770-7078, Email: email@example.com, Website: www.abundantcongregations.org (March 19)
Bishop Gronberg recommends all rostered/authorized leaders read again The Use of the Means of Grace as a resource for decisions around communion practices and priorities. (March 16)
Message from Tim Wengert: Holy Communion Under Quarantine (March 16)
From tithe.ly: How to Take Your Church Virtual (Fast): The Ultimate Guide to Church Live-Streaming During Crisis (March 16)
From Augsburg Fortress: Temporary Expanded Licensing for Streaming Worship Services (March 13)
From Google Hangouts: Gsuite customers have access to advanced features through July 1, including live streaming and recording. (March 13)
From Adobe Connect: Free 90 day subscription (until July 1) for web conferencing. (March 13)
From Loom: Dropping recording limits, trials extended to 30 days, plan price cut to $5 after that. (March 13)
Caring for Community Amidst Public Health Concerns – March 13 letter from Bishop Gronberg
From the ELCA:
With the outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States and around the world being classified as a pandemic, congregations and houses of worship need to be well-informed and well-prepared. We have developed resources that offer guidance as we minister to and engage with each other, and within our communities, as the body of Christ. Find these and other resources at ELCA.org/PublicHealth.
God, our peace and our strength, we pray for our nation and the world as we face new uncertainties around coronavirus. Protect the most vulnerable among us, especially all who are currently sick or in isolation. Grant wisdom, patience, and clarity to health care workers, especially as their work caring for others puts them at great risk. Guide us as we consider how best to prepare and respond in our families, congregations, workplaces, and communities. Give us courage to face these days not with fear but with compassion, concern, and acts of service, trusting that you abide with us always, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From Faith and Leadership (March 12): Resources for Christian leaders during the coronavirus disease pandemic
COVID-19 Updates | Actualizaciones sobre el COVID-19 – March 11 blog by Bishop Gronberg
Maintaining a Healthy Church Environment (created March 10):
COVID-19: Preparing, Educating, And Responding In Faith – March 6 blog by Bishop Gronberg
Whether One May Flee From A Deadly Plague – Martin Luther
These resources are provided from Lutheran Disaster Response and the ELCA worship team that supply information for communities to prepare and be pro-active in their preparations:
Addressing Anxiety about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – February 29 blog by Bishop Gronberg