This list of resources is intended to assist pastors and congregations navigate challenges and complexities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be in touch with conference staff with questions or additional suggested resources.
The ACC Staff has developed a two-page document on recommended measures for regathering and things to consider before reopening, compiled from various sources. To view the list of resources with links provided, click here. To view the spreadsheet where congreagations can share details abou their regathering plan, click here.
Staff also shared a reflection on reopening, which can be read here.
Spiritual Practices Webinar
Thursday, June 4 at 7pm EST | Register here
Encounter anew, or rediscover ancient spiritual practices which create a daily rhythm of life. Turn your despair and isolation into hope and community. Join us for this webinar, exploring the practice of prayer, ritual, and community in this time of loss and loneliness. After the webinar, you will be invited to join a 30 day virtual learning community of 12-15 people, that will seek and find this daily rhythm of life together!
Resources on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) & Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT
The CARES Act and your nonprofit or church: Everence released this overview of CARES benefits to sustain your faith community.
Churches and the CARES Act webinar: A free webinar that Christianity Today’s Church Law & Tax group is hosting tomorrow, April 2, “helping congregations and employees weather the cash crunch.”
Vanderbloemen is a church staffing firm that is providing information on applying for funds from the CARES Act. Their blog posts include a number of recorded webinars and helpful links, including the spreadsheet to calculate the loan amount and the loan application. Loans can be forgiven after several months as an incentive to retain employee hours. Contact the ACC office for details.
The U.S. chamber of commerce also has a helpful visual guide to help complete the process.
Per the Small Business Administration (SBA) guidelines, lenders may begin processing applications for this program starting April 3, 2020. View the application ahead of time: PPP Application.
Resources for accepting online donations
The Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s giving-beyond-the-offering-plate gives options and ideas to consider as an alternative to in-person giving.
Everence offers assistance and relief options during COVID-19 outbreak
As part of its mission to help people, churches, businesses and organizations integrate their faith and values into their financial decisions, Everence® is offering assistance and relief options to help members and customers impacted by the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Everence has doubled its available Sharing Funds to help individuals (including pastors) facing lost income. It is also offering church loan forbearance and free budget and debt counseling services. Read the full release at https://bit.ly/3bfsSxk.
Mennonite Church USA resource website
“Staying healthy and hopeful” is the theme of Mennonite Church USA’s resource website for responding to COVID-19. The continually updated site includes COVID-19 prevention tips and information, resources for at-home worship and a video message from Executive Director Glen Guyton. Select content provided in Spanish and Indonesian. http://mennoniteusa.org/resources-covid19 (Download a PPT slide for congregational display.)
Employee Assistance Program Available via Teletherapy
During the State of Emergency due to COVID-19, the State of Pennsylvania has allowed behavioral health counseling providers the option of using teletherapy for short-term counseling sessions. WellSpan Employee Assistance Program has identified over 50 providers that are able to facilitate this type of counseling session.
If you are interested in accessing a provider via teletherapy:
- Visit www.WellSpan.org/EAP and choose Teletherapy on the Provider Search Tool under Specialty
- Add your ZIP code and click Search and providers offering this service will be listed
- Call a provider directly, let them know the company you work for, and ask to schedule an EAP counseling appointment using WellSpan EAP
View Wellspan’s Teletherapy flyer here.
Wellspan’s COVID-19 resource page
This resource page provides mental health-related resources on coping with worries, caring for children, caring for employees, and caring for yourself. http://www.wellspaneap.org/resources/coronavirus-(covid-19)/
Wellspan Coronavirus Resources for Employers
WellSpan has been working continuously to prepare for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) issue, as Pennsylvania continues to see an increase in confirmed cases. We are here to support you, your employees and your organization. As a start, we want to share some information and resources with you to help you and your employees prepare during the uncertainty of the rapidly changing situation with this virus. Up-to-date factual information and guidelines for proactive, preventative self- and other-care measures. https://www.wellspan.org/coronavirus/resources-for-employers/
Free registration for EMS online pastors forum
The spread of COVID-19 brings unprecedented challenges for congregations. Pastoral leaders are navigating their own personal transitions while scrambling to take worship services online and care for their congregants. With social distancing practices in place, how can pastors resist isolation in their ministry during this time? Now more than ever, pastoral leaders need networks of support and spaces for innovation. Join Sarah Bixler, EMS instructor in formation and practical theology, for an online facilitated conversation about the realities, challenges and innovative ideas you have for ministry during this time.
Compete this registration form to participate in the EMS Online Pastors Forum: Leading Congregations amid COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Franconia / Eastern District Conference resources
Franconia / Eastern District Conference has compiled a list of helpful resources to assist with ministry during this time of separation. Online resources on technology, children’s activities, and worship / devotional resources are listed. Find the list at
Zoom video conference training
Have you found yourself needing to use Zoom’s video conferencing software more often lately? If you’d like additional training, you can sign up for a live demo by the company at https://zoom.us/events.