Here are some ideas & resources related to on-line worship and other activities. Check out the list and email the office if you have more to add.
Ideas to Connect Virtually
- Lead Bible Study, confirmation classes, and/or conversations via Zoom or Google Hangouts.
- Send your families this resource from Milestones Ministry
- Host a regular conference call (using Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) to check in.
- Consider setting a common prayer time, so folks know they are praying together even if they aren’t gathered in person.
- Send out daily devotions via email or text.
- Create and mail a daily devotional for those isolated.
- Create a phone tree for checking in with parishoners who are isolated and/or not connected online.
- Divide up your church membership list among church leadership and call everyone to check in.
- Ask a retired rostered minister to lend a hand in making pastoral phone calls.
- Identify folks who need support re: grocery & supplies. Encourage sharing of supplies.
- Send cards to those who are isolated and/or have hearing loss making even phone calls difficult
- Send notes of thanks and care to people, especially workers on the front lines and local care facilities like nursing homes and hospitals.
- Consider small group (no touch) outdoor gatherings: service projects, hikes, holy play time, wild church, etc.
- For our nursing home/care facilities: offer a daily prayer or devotional time over the intercom system.
- If you are healthy, volunteer with programs that provide critical services and need extra help at this time (ie. feeding programs, shelters, etc.)
- Some have found wearing their clergy shirts in public to be a helpful way of connecting with folks in public who are anxious in these days
- Connect with the partners who share your building – if they desire to continue meeting, help ensure they are able to meet the health department recommendations and your church’s plan. One congregation offered time on their Zoom account so the group continue to keep meeting.
- Help your members consider other ways they can members support one another and the community.
- Livestream worship with only worship leaders in attendance if you are not gathering in person (how to here) (follow gathering guidelines)
- Pre-record worship and share it on social media, your website and email.
- Streamed or taped worship/devotions do not have to be professional quality video productions – simpler is better- keep it short and sweet.
- You know what works best for your context – for some it may be recorded or live streamed worship, for others it may be phone calls or emails, or mailing out copies of worship materials
- Invite your congregation to worship with another who has a broadcast in place – just let your church partner know in advance
- Churches are joining forces, rotating meditation or devotions between different pastors each day
On-line Worship Resources
- How to stream your worship service — A starter guide from the ELCA
- Free, simple streaming service recommended for the technologically challenged
- How to do Facebook Live (Thank you to Jason Bendickson from Salt House)
- Example Letter to congregation regarding canceling worship. (Thank you to Pastor Darla DeFrance from Columbia City Church of Hope)
- Example of a Congregation Health Plan (Thank you to Pastor Pam Gompf from Pointe of Grace Lutheran)
- Worship in Times of Public Health ConcernsPDF Download
- Prayers for Times of Public Health Concern: COVID-19/CoronavirusPDF Download
- Congregational Planning Checklist for Public Health ConcernsPDF Download
- Meet with your finance committee/church council to make a plan of communicating the ongoing financial needs of doing ministry to your congregation. Establish safe (healthy) counting practices for counters (in addition to regular best practices). Some congregations that receive checks/cash on Sundays will need to communicate how/when folks can send to the church. Deposits are getting made how often? Bills still need to get paid. If you have not already, consider online giving! (Tithe.ly and Vanco are good soption) Please reach out to the synod office if you need some guidance around altering the budget
Watch this one-hour webinar with Gretchen Brauer-Rieke, RN, MSN, advance planning facilitator with CodaConversations.com. This webinar walks you through three decision points which might be encountered by those who contract this disease and the art of considering important medical decisions before they arrive, allowing individuals and their families to be prepared in the case of difficult illnesses. This presentation be of use to individuals and their families, counselors, pastors, priests, rabbis or any who might accompany those faced with difficult choices around treatment of COVID-19. Email Gretchen.