United Church of Christ

Coronavirus and the Church

 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted from person to person. It is caused by a virus that can also live on surfaces near where an infected person has coughed, sneezed or exhaled. It has spread throughout the world in the first quarter of 2020, causing illness, and, in some cases, death. Its effects in various countries and localities have ranged from cancelations of public gatherings, to limits or bans on travel, to drops in financial markets.

 

Like other organizations, churches must take appropriate health precautions. We also have a special responsibility to care for members and neighbors. This web page contains information that all settings of the United Church of Christ – local churches, associations, conferences and national ministries – have contributed to and may find useful. Resources also come from our ecumenical partners and respected health organizations.

 

Help for Churches in Responding Immediately

 

A Faithful Response, with Worship, to the Coronavirus (Google Docs)
A broad list of tips and suggestions from UCC Justice and Local Church Ministries, ranging from liturgical resources to copyright info. to links to recorded videoconferences

 

Pastoral Care for Grieving Families (Google Docs)

Some considered thoughts from the United Church of Christ, National Setting, 2030 clergy network, Cohort, and digital pastors.

 

Flier / bulletin insert: Coronavirus and the Church (PDF)

From UCC Disaster Ministries

 

Pandemic Preparations Checklist  (PDF)
By the Disaster Resource and Response Team, Southern New England Conference, UCC.

 

CDC Guide to Cleaning

Cleaning and disinfection recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

 

Ideas for Home Church Groups (PDF)

From Wellesley (Mass.) Congregational Church, UCC

 

Memo on Communion Precautions  (PDF)
By the Metro Boston Hope District of the New England Conference, United Methodist Church

 

A Concise Coronavirus Guide for Churches

Free Coronavirus guide for churches from Christianity Today
 

Guidance for Congregations (PDF)
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

 

Guidance for Churches
from the Wisconsin Council of Churches

How to Offer Worship Online

 

Advice on Online Worship (PDF)
From Marcia McFee of Worship Design Studio

 

COVID-19 Lockdown: Creating Live-streamed Worship in 3 Days
From the website Hacking Christianity

Lessons on Ministry during a Disaster

 

A Connecticut pastor shares his experiences
Blog Post from Matt Crebbin

 

COVID-19 Daily Briefing from Disaster Ministries

 

Suggestions for Talking to Children

 

“Children are impacted by moments like these,” says the Rev. Don Remick, one of the UCC Southern New England Conference’s bridge Conference ministers. “Even if they aren’t watching the news, they’re picking it up. And they’re picking up the stress of their parents, teachers, family and classmates. You can do a lot to reduce their stress and remove their fears.” He suggests:

 

Resources for Talking with Kids about COVID-19

From the Washington School-Based Health Alliance, Seattle

 

Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus

From the Child Mind Institute

 

Resources for Individuals and Families

With links to tips from FEMA, the Red Cross, Mr. Rogers and others, via the UCC Southern New England Conference website

Legislative Updates

 

From the United Church of Christ Office of General Counsel:

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (March 19, 2020)

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Summary (March 19, 2020)

Statements by Church Leaders

 

From the A message from the General Minister and President (March 18, 2020)

 

From the World Council of Churches (March 18, 2020)

 

From the Southwest Conference UCC to churches (March 17, 2020)

 

From the Officers of the United Church of Christ (March 13, 2020)

From the World Council of Churches (March 13, 2020)

From the Maine Conference (March 13, 2020)

From the Massachusetts Council of Churches (March 12, 2020)

From the Heartland Conference UCC to churches (March 12,2020)

From the North California Nevada Conference Minister (March 12, 2020)

From the Minnesota Conference UCC to churches (March 11, 2020)

From the Southeast Conference UCC to churches (March 11, 2020)

From the Penn Central Conference UCC to churches (March 11, 2020)

From the Pacific Northwest Conference, UCC  (March 7, 2020)

From the Rev. Traci Blackmon, UCC Associate General Minister (Feb. 28, 2020)

UCC News Articles

From homeless shelter decisions to online worship, Denver church learning as it goes amid pandemic 
United Church News, March 21, 2020

 

The Church House closes, but the UCC national staff is working virtually until further notice 
United Church News, March 20, 2020

 

Small Ohio church finds a way to fight hunger, continue meals despite virus 
United Church News, March 20, 2020

 

Omaha pastor shares COVID-19 diagnosis during online worship service 
United Church News, March 17, 2020

 

Moving worship online during pandemic, UCC churches offer pastoral touches, prophetic voices 
United Church News, March 17, 2020

 

UCC churches establish protocols, preach awareness, not panic as COVID-19 cases grow 
United Church News, March 9, 2020

 

Church leaders urge education, caution and common sense as U.S. coronavirus cases increase
United Church News, Feb. 28, 2020

 

UCC joins ecumenical effort to send medical supplies to China to combat coronavirus

United Church News, Jan. 29, 2020

General Resources - and Separating Fact from Fiction

 

CDC Coronavirus Web Page

Regularly updated information and tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

WHO Coronavirus Web Page

Regularly updated information and tips from the World Health Organization

 

A Family Doctor Helps Separate Fact from Fiction (video)

In this 5-minute video from Colorado’s Southwest Health System, Dr. Peter Lin explains how the coronavirus spreads, how to minimize transmission and who’s at risk

 

What This Doctor Wants Us to Know About Our Fears Regarding Coronavirus (March 11, 2020)

An article by Dr. Abdu Sharkaway, an infectious disease specialist, via Thrive Global

 

Resisting the Pandemic of Prejudice

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Vice President of Research and Development, the Search Institute

 

Faith, Common Sense and Reducing Panic (Feb. 12, 2020)

By Deborah Ringen, Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness, Southern New England Conference, UCC

 

Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives

All about clean hands, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

 

Hand Hygiene Website 

From the Henry the Hand Foundation, devoted to promoting “Four Principles of Hand Awareness”

 

Hand Sanitizer Recipe

How to make hand sanitizer with ingredients in the home, via Syracuse.com

Avoiding Scams

 

“Another danger of pandemics is people taking advantage,” says the Rev. Don Remick, one of the UCC Southern New England Conference’s bridge Conference ministers. He lists these possible scams to watch out for:

 

  • Phishing emails from cyber-criminals posing as reputed organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). These emails contain a malicious file attachment that claims to be useful information about coronavirus. When the unsuspecting victim opens the attachment, malware is installed on their PC.
  • Phishing emails prompting the recipient to enter their login credentials into a web site to access information about coronavirus. Once entered, the login credentials are stolen by the threat actors.
  • Fraudulent charities that use legitimate social media sites to ask for donations for charitable causes related to the virus.
  • Non-Delivery Frauds – fraudulent advertisements for medical supplies such as medical masks, gloves, disinfectants, etc. The fraudulent company will ask for upfront payment and will never deliver the ordered products. Be cautious when ordering such supplies online.

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