Mission Trip Opportunities and Covid Safe Volunteering

Timely Notification: If you or your congregation want to respond to a current disaster, please contact Rev. Larssen at LarssenE@ucc.org and our Minister for Disaster Response, Lesli Remaly at RemalyL@ucc.org.

Due to the extreme caution required during the COVID pandemic, Global H.O.P.E. was not commissioning Mission Trip teams in 2021. With improved capacity of agencies and congregations to plan and execute safe in-person programming, Volunteer Ministries of the United Church of Christ offers the following COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Volunteering and Mission Trips, effective December 14, 2021.

Volunteers should bring health and energy with them to their volunteer agency and the community in need. If you have Covid, do not volunteer at this time. Stay home and heal. Those experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed should also stay home. Our prayers are with those experiencing illness, and we will thankfully accept your volunteer time when it is safe for you and your volunteer agency.

To support your safety, the following safety precautions should be observed by groups serving in Mission Trips or Disaster Ministries-supported sites:

  • It is not recommended that unvaccinated persons volunteer in person at this time. Full vaccination and boosters are recommended.
  • Volunteer teams should travel, work, and maintain lodging and dining as a closed ‘Covid Pod.’
  • Homestay in local homes is not recommended for volunteer groups at this time.
  • Volunteer groups should not mingle with other volunteer groups.
  • Air travel is not advised.
  • Groups should purchase travel insurance that covers COVID. Scholarship support for the cost of group travel insurance with a Covid rider may be requested from Disaster Ministries.
  • Teams should follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines relevant to the time frame of their service, local municipal regulations regarding vaccination and mask use, and established policies of hosting agencies. The host agency may expect compliance with contact tracing/sign in protocols, vaccines, tests, mask wearing, daily temperature requirements, and other additional safety expectations set forth by the agency.

In related news, Vaccination and boosters are required for Partner in Service individuals serving in long-term placement. Exceptions to that policy shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Global H.O.P.E. team.

Contact the Rev. Elena Larssen larssene@ucc.org for updates.