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Re-Opening of Churches – Conversation for all Church Leaders
As states begin opening-up some businesses, the question arises – what about our local churches? What about in-person worship? When does that happen? This conversation has been happening among clergy, but we would like to invite Moderators and all Church Leaders into the conversation.
Join us on Monday, May 18 at 7 pm Eastern/6 pm Central via Zoom. Register online here. Meanwhile, click here for a document that presents suggested phases for re-opening churches based on the decline of COVID-19 cases in your area.
Zoom Meetings for Clergy
For All Clergy – A hour of Conversations and Prayer
- Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern (10:00 a.m. Central)
- Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/479440102
For Specialized Ministers
- Last Tuesday of the Month at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (8:30 a.m. Central)
- Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/354744689
Special Southeast Conference Webinar: Impact of the Pandemic on Church Finances
In times of uncertainty, it is natural to worry about church finances! Pastors, church treasurers, and other lay leaders were invited to participate in a Zoom virtual meeting specifically for the Southeast Conference to discuss stewardship and financial concerns in these times of challenge. They were joined by Andrew Warner, UCC Generosity Outreach Officer, and Patrick Duggan and Susan Mitchell of the UCC Building & Loan Fund.
The Pandemic and Mental Health – Recording
If you missed our very informative Zoom conversation Rev with Sarah Lund, Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice, you can view the recording here.
Tips and Tricks for Online Worship Webinar
For many of us, we have been worshiping online for a while. Some of us have found the platform that works best for our setting including Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube, while others are still trying to find the rhythm that fits best for us. Join Southeast Conference Communications Director Don Harris and Associate Conference Minister Heather Fosburgh as they share some of the tricks and tips they have discovered around online worship.
Have a “Virtual Visit” by the Conference Staff
Usually, Char Burch, Heather Fosburgh, and Carrole Moss would be visiting churches on Sundays, bringing greetings, preaching, etc. Since they are now unable to travel due to COVID-19, they have been amazed and appreciative of the creative virtual worship services of our local churches online. Even though we all are at home, the staff is willing to be with you virtually! They can join your church live via Zoom, or they can create a video that can be inserted within your worship. Just let them know! ([email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected])
New Facebook Group for Clergy and Laity
We have a new Facebook Group for our clergy and local church lay leadership: https://www.facebook.com/groups/654449305307321/. The group provides an asynchronous online forum to ask questions of each other, share experiences, make suggestions, offer support, etc.
UCC’s “Daily Briefing” on COVID-19 provides facts to fight fear
The Humanitarian and Development Team of the Cleveland, Ohio-based United Church of Christ wants to ensure that members of the wider church and beyond get facts and not false information about the coronavirus pandemic. So it brought in a public health professional to act as the UCC “point person” for the church’s COVID-19 response.
Barbara Baylor (a member of First Congregational Church in Atlanta) began work Friday, March 20, as UCC Disaster Ministries’ Health Liaison. Her job: to help decipher all of the material available from a plethora of respected sources and create an online daily brief that simplifies the data and shares the latest information about the virus. The COVID-19 Daily Briefing (https://www.ucc.org/daily_covid_19_brief) will continue daily Monday through Friday throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Volunteers Needed for Telechaplaincy
The need for spiritual care in this unprecedented time is critical. We are beginning to receive calls from healthcare institutions that need additional spiritual care provider assistance. The Association of Professional Chaplains is seeking volunteers to meet these requests. If you would like to be considered for telechaplaincy support, please complete this form Names and information will only be shared with institutional leadership working to meet the needs of those whom they serve. If you have questions or need more information, please email [email protected].
Additional Resources as We Cope with COVID-19
- United Church of Christ Denominational Resources: The UCC has a wealth of information: https://www.ucc.org/coronavirus
- Insurance Board: There are also many resources on the UCC Insurance Board website: ww.insuranceboard.org
- Horizon Stewardship, an organization that partners with several United Methodist groups, has provided a variety of good resources for church leaders, including their series on “Resilient Leadership:” https://horizons.net/covid-19-resources/
- Mental Health Resources: As the pandemic continues issues of mental health are becoming more prevalent as people are dealing with anxiety, fear, lack of routines, etc. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a free resource created to assist during the COVID-19 crisis. Click to download.
- The UCC Mental Health Network has a helpful post about assisting others in dealing with isolation. Look for the article “Overcoming Isolation:” http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/
- Offer of Meditative, Therapeutic Music: Rev. Jean Norton is offering to provide therapeutic harp music to create quiet or mediation offerings for church worship and individual live debriefing/harp sessions for chaplains and health care professionals as they cope with stress. Jean is a Board Certified Chaplain, a Clinical Music Intern with Harp for the Healing Clinical Musician Certification Program. For more information, contact Jean at [email protected].