A message from Conference Minister Rev. Bill Worley, as printed in the March 10, 2020 eNews email:

Dear Friends,
In response to the Coronavirus, I have received numerous guidance-offering emails. I suspect you have too. Some of that information is included with this
e-blast. There is no shortage of direction from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, our own National Church and many others, in addition to the very good work of our Disaster Ministries Coordinator Rev. Karl Jones who is in constant contact with both the Pennsylvania and Federal Emergency Management Agencies. Let me say these three things.
First, we are people of faith, not of fear. God needs us, I expect us, to be sources of non-anxious presence in a very anxious time. That is the most certain path to witness to the very powerful presence of the resurrected Spirit of Jesus Christ and God’s dominion over this world and our lives.
Second, use common sense. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the volume of information presented by countless media and government outlets. It is important to gather as much factual information as possible to inform your own capacity to react to this crisis with thoughtful reasonableness. Trust your instincts working in conjunction with those with whom you minster. Make safe-guarding your own wellness and that of the people closest to you your first priority.
And finally, do not make decisions alone. The collective discernment capacity of lay leaders is significant and life-giving and can be trusted to find the best way forward for each community, congregation and ministry setting. That discernment may lead some congregations to halt worshiping. It may lead others to continue worshiping with enhanced sensitivity to the virus. We will get through this uncertain time together.
I, and our Conference staff, will continue with all planned events including Conference/Association and Committee meetings, preaching engagements, and training events, until such time as their planners or Conference Consistory and our Association Executive Committees determine that a different course of action is required. We will regularly communicate about that via this e-blast, email, and our Conference webpage.
You remain, as ever, in my prayers.
Rev. Bill Worley
Conference Minister

Guidelines for re-opening:

 

Helpful Virus Facts:

Disaster Resources:

  • COVID-19 Financial Resources for Churches — The UCC Financial Ministries has comiled a list of loans, grants, and resources around finances and the pandemic.
  • Pennsylvania COVID-19 Philanthropic Recovery Funds — This document lists regional, national, and international funds available for COVID-19 recovery.
  • Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook — A tool to help you build resilience during difficult times created by The Wellness Society.
  • Congregational Planning Checklist for a Pandemic — Resource from Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA.
  • Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 — CDC Resource
  • Faith-Based Response to Epidemics — Resource from Episcopal Relief & Development highlighting the role of churches, liturgical guidelines, and general guidelines for churches.
  • PPP Tracking Worksheet — If your church received Payroll Protection Program funds, this worksheet can help track them. The calculation of utilizing 75% for payroll and the other 25% for utilities, rent, etc., isn’t as clear cut as it seems. This worksheet helps so that you will not be surprised when you report back to the bank at the end of this 8 week period.
  • Print Resources — Printable/shareable flyers, handouts, and posters from the CDC on COVID-19, germs, and hand-washing.
  • Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 — a resource from the World Health Organization
  • Preparing for the Spread of COVID-19 — an infographic from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on preparing for and learning about COVID-19.
  • Online and Virtual Recovery Support Resource List — The Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance released this list for online recovery meetings to support those who cannot gather for regular recovery meetings.
  • Ideas to help in Philadelphia — POWER has sent a list of suggestions for how to support those in need now. Some ideas include donations to help displaced hospitality workers, signing a petition to get justice for stadium workers, or support for the Philadelphia Bail Fund. For more info, read the letter from POWER here.
  • Needs and Offers — United Church of Christ at Valley Forge created this Google Form to ask members of their community what their needs are and what they are able to help with.
  • COVID-19 Resource Guide — As houses of worship give thoughtful and prayerful consideration to next steps, this guide provides links to valuable resources all in one location from the Insurance Board.
  • Ministry Care and Support Resources — These UCC resources help provide health and wholeness in the midst of COVID-19.
  • Recovering Hope — The UCC launched these resources for emotional and spiritual care to pastors, chaplains, other church leaders, congregants, vulnerable communities and beyond.
  • Pandemic Grants through UCC — This list at UCC.org includes COVID-19 grant opportunities for congregations.

Worship Resources: