|Dear Central Atlantic Conference Authorized Ministers,
Below please find some updated resources for you and your congregations during COVID-19.
The Central Atlantic Conference has recently released “Regathering in Person” guidelines. You may find them by Clicking Here.
This is a link to a helpful video around considering Regathering in Person guidelines from a United Methodist Church pastor. You can view this by clicking here.
This Sunday, May 24, is the last Sunday of Eastertide. If you have not done so, I strongly encourage that you utilize the Eastertide worship designed by the Conference Ministers. One of the musical offerings is given by the Chancel Choir of one of our own congregations, Christ Church in Summit NY. This worship is intended to provide an opportunity for you to worship and or rest a Sunday from planning or leading worship. Since the worship is about fifty minutes long, you could combine the worship with some time for ‘person-ship’ or check-ins with your congregations. You may find this worship by clicking here.
The Annual Festival of Homiletics begins today! This year it is a virtual event and registration is free! If you have never attended this event before, now is the time! This is an opportunity to gather with over 13,000 preachers and church leaders from over 56 countries and 90 denominations who will gather online this week for inspiration, outstanding preaching, fellowship and renewal. The festival ends this Friday, May 22. You may register for this event by clicking here.
This is an important and useful article around the risks of regathering shared by John Dorhauer, the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Please access the article by clicking here.
Here are some useful updates from Our United Church of Christ Heather Kimmel concerning the CARES Act:
· Here is legal counsel response to the question: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?
· Here is the latest (May 13th) Update from UCC Legal Counsel regard the CARES Act and PPP Loans
· Here Navigating the Next Steps with a PPP Loan.
· Our Church Got a PPP Loan, Now What? Register for May 20th, 12 noon Webinar
Jill White, Regional Missional Interpreter for the Church Building and Loan Fund (“CBLF”), invites you to attend a “Moses Mind Webinar” on Wednesday, May 27th at 2P. Sponsored by CBLF, it is designed to encourage and strengthen church leaders across the nation. Please join this discussion on The Church can move forward during these times. If you are interested in attending, the link for registration can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/594685008068145/ or here www.themosesmind.info
This article on leadership from the Harvard Business Review, “What Good Leadership Looks Like During This Pandemic” is well worth reading. You may access it by clicking here.
This article from Alban Weekly speaks to the gifts than smaller, more rural congregations can offer during this pandemic and beyond. Please read it by clicking here.
My Conference Minister colleagues in Wyoming, Connecticut, and Illinois have recently reported disturbing incidents of “Zoom Bombings” during worship services. This article from ZDNet might be helpful in preventing this from happening to your worship. You may find its link by clicking here.
Finally, this is a link to a book called The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online edited by Heidi A. Campbell. The book features contributors from a variety of church locales, including UCC Ministers Donna Schaper and Michael Piazza.
I sincerely pray these resources will be helpful to you and your congregations today and in the future. Thank you for the ministry you are doing in this tremendously challenging time, and please stay safe and take care of yourselves – body, mind, and spirit. And in those times when you too need care, remember these words of this longtime hymn of the church:
Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.
God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.
In Hope and Faith,