Search

Responding to the coronavirus

Resources for parishes

Church-related resources

Concerning COVID-19 – from The Episcopal Church

Faith based response to epidemics + pandemics – from Episcopal Relief & Development

Resources for prayer and worship at home – from Forward Movement

COVID-19 Resources – from Episcopal Church Foundation

Health resources

KDHE Coronavirus Response – from Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Coronavirus Disease 2019 – from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus – from World Health Organization

Guidelines for feeding ministries and other outreach programs

We keep asking God to guide us to the sweet spot of being the incarnate Body of Christ in this place, and keeping people safe from the coronavirus. Many have been asking for the best approach to the many feeding and other outreach ministries we provide to the people of our communities.

Here are guidelines that apply equally for ministries that provide prepared food and for food pantries:

  • Our motto is “Feeding without Gathering.” Try to continue to feed people in need but do so without gathering more than 10 people in a space at any given time. People always must remain 6 feet apart.
  • Food needs to be packaged so recipients can take items with them.
  • It may be helpful to have one member of a family or party pick up food containers for everyone, to reduce the number of people waiting in line.
  • Limit those who prepare food at any given time to the smallest number possible.
  • Those who serve and distribute food should wear single-use gloves that must be changed if the wearer touches their face or another person.
  • Proper hand washing must be observed and repeated frequently by those preparing or serving food.

For those providing space for meetings of recovery groups

If a group that meets in your building numbers fewer than 10 people, we leave it to the local parish to decide whether to host them while buildings otherwise are closed. Groups larger than 10 people may not use space in our buildings at this time. For churches that decide to continue to host: to keep group members safe, a high level of disinfecting cleaning should be done before and after meetings.

Staying connected

Churches should consider some kind of video platform for meetings. The most commonly used one is Zoom. A free version allows for meetings of 40 minutes or less, with up to 100 people in the meeting. Paid versions allow for longer meetings that can be recorded to be viewed later.

This video shows people who are new to Zoom how to join an online meeting.

Looking for a good way to conduct conference calls (or an all-parish call)? FreeConferenceCall.com may be your solution.

Worship online

Browse our list of churches and others providing worship online

Livestreaming worship

Some churches may find it helpful to live stream worship services for those who are not able to attend church. Some may need help in getting started, and others are expanding their capabilities.

Here are some resources that can help:

Livestreaming

How to livestream your church service on Facebook Live in 4 easy steps (video).

Guidelines for Facebook Live streaming, from a former editor of The Atlantic (viewable in a Google doc).

Do you want your Facebook Live stream to be embedded on your website, so it’s easier to find? VidLive may be your answer.

You can stream Zoom meetings to Facebook Live or YouTube. This video tutorial shows you how.

Copyrights

You must be certain that music you broadcast is free from copyright restrictions, or that you have a license to use copyrighted material. Just because something is in the Hymnal 1982 does not mean it can be broadcast without a separate license.

List of hymns that are in the public domain (no copyright restrictions).

Two companies offer annual broadcast licenses for parishes:

Broadcast copyright guidance from the Episcopal Church

Building community online

Gathering community via Facebook Live (video)

Resources for digital faith formation, from e-Formation

Low tech/No-tech ways to stay connected (thanks to the Diocese of North Carolina)

Record and Post

If livestreaming isn’t going to work for your audience, consider recording your service, sermon, prayers or messages and posting them on your website and social media channels. It doesn’t have to be interactive to have an impact.

Phone trees/Calling Buddies

One of the areas of greatest concerns is our neighbors who are vulnerable, either because of a physical or emotional need, or because they are in the at-risk group who are cautioned to avoid crowds right now. A good old-fashioned phone call is a great way to check in with community members who need to know they are not forgotten. Create a list of those who could use the connection and enlist the help of parishioners or church leaders to check make the calls on a regular (even daily) basis.

Errand support teams

Another concern for those who may not be advised (or are unable) to frequent public areas right now is the simple act of running errands. Consider creating “buddy teams” between parishioners who could use a hand and can lend a hand with running errands to ensure supply levels don’t become a source of stress.

Notes are notable

There’s something lovely about receiving a note in the mail, knowing someone took the time to write it, address it and put a stamp on it. Technology is wonderful, but sometimes old school can bring an even bigger smile.

The quiet connection

“One of the beautiful things about the Book of Common Prayer is that it allows us always to be together in common prayer and common worship even if we can’t be together physically. It opens up another ‘virtual’ option in which community leaders can designate specific times during which people can open their Prayer Books at home or wherever they are and know that others in their congregation are doing the very same thing and praying the very same words right along with them at that particular time.” (Kirk Royal, Good Shepherd, Raleigh) As a bonus activity, suggest keeping a journal of thoughts during these reading times to share when we are able to gather together again.

©2010—2022 The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas