Leading Through a Rapidly Changing Environment While Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic
As you may know, the National Offices are now functioning from a work-from-home environment. The building is closed for now, and will remain so until the Governor of Ohio dismisses the stay-at-home order.
We have been preparing for such a move, anticipating that this was a possible, if not inevitable, scenario. While there will surely be some glitches in our normal operating procedures, we want to state with full confidence that the work of the National Setting will continue. With our laptops, in-home wifi or personal hotspots, and most of the files and information stored in the cloud with password access, we feel that what we need is accessible to us.
We know that many of you reading this are working under similar conditions, and that many churches have converted their services to online spaces. We are all making timely and well-advised decisions about how to do the work we were called to do and protect the health of our families, faith communities, colleagues, and ourselves.
If you are looking for resources to assist your church in this challenging time, the staff at the National Setting has created a page to help. Along with the advice and communications being shared by your conference, the resources gathered at this page are proving to be invaluable for our churches as they struggle with what to do and how to do it.
We are maintaining our schedule of special mission offerings, including One Great Hour of Sharing. The offering was scheduled to be taken on March 22, 2020. Given the rapidly changing environment, perhaps the One Great Hour of Sharing offering was not taken on the suggested date. Please know it is not too late. You can participate in the offering at any time.
Our concerns regarding the security of mail delivery has forced us to make the decision to have our mail held for the time being. That way it will not be returned as undeliverable or left sitting somewhere in an empty building where it has a danger of being lost or stolen. Any checks sent to the United Church of Christ National Offices will be held by our branch of the United States Postal Service until we can physically enter the offices again.
We also understand that many churches are unable to meet at this time and that this may mean fewer funds are collected. We know that is a possibility, but we also know that people who can will continue to be generous, especially when the call is to reach out to the vulnerable that subsist in the margins with few resources.
We ask for your prayers, as we daily hold you in our prayers. We will continue every day to give our best effort on your behalf. We thank you for your patience, understanding, and ongoing support for the work of the National Setting.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ