Responding to COVID-19: Resources for Churches

Open Letter Against Racism and Hatred

Caring for Others; Caring for Ourself

This resource from Capacitar offers us simple practices that we can do to calm anxiety and boost our immune system. Capcitar practices have been used worldwide with people dealing with trauma, trauma from war and poverty and destruction. And, Capacitar practices can help us in a time of COVID-19 as well.
Rev. T'Shala, a UCC Minister and Bereavement Manager and Chaplain at Kindred Hospice, has extended this Tele-Hotline support to anyone who needs a listening ear. To learn more click on the links below:

Idea Bank: Churches Being Church (NEW POSTS BELOW)

Chinese Congregational Church in San Francisco posted this in their newsletter: "Because of the Crisis our world is currently in, we have thought long and hard on how we can help and share God's love with our neighbors and community. With many incidents of job loss, we felt it important to make sure that one of the most basic human needs, food, is being fulfilled. With the Council's approval, we have decided to donate to both the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and the Feed + Fuel CCDC program. Both programs are working to provide food to our Chinatown community as well as the greater Bay Area. We have decided to give $10,000 to each program from our church's Ready Asset Fund in hopes to not only make a significant difference but also in hopes that it might inspire others to give as well."
A pod or a bubble is a small, stable group of people who have decided to spend time together, with boundaries and guidelines they have predetermined, for mutual well-being during the pandemic. A great idea for how to use pods and bubbles comes from First Church Berkeley, which is reaching out to members, especially those who live alone, to invite them to be part of a pod or bubble as individuals are able to gather in small groups. Participation is voluntary and each pod or bubble sets its own parameters for how often and how and where they meet.
One idea is to create baskets with items such as cleaning supplies, gloves, toilet paper, a resource guide for living in a world dealing with COVID-19. The baskets let these residents know you are thinking of them and provide important resources and supplies for a time that can feel pretty scary for many of us.
Congregational Church of San Mateo has created a Face Mask Brigade. Members are sewing face masks for health care workers, who are reporting there is not enough masks for the need. There is evidence that hand-made masks work nearly as good as regular surgical masks. Contact CCSM for more information and/or watch this tutorial.
Deacons and other members receive a list of members to call and check in with regularly and therapists and trained counselors in the congregation check in with those who are making the calls so the caregivers are also being cared for. Those making the calls are given particular questions to ask and also will find out if the member would like a call from the Pastor for a particular need.
Daily text sent to all members with something fun (like, “Time for a Dance Break!”) or an encouraging word to let them know we are all connected in this time.
Periodic video check-ins with members where each member is invited to share 1-2 minutes about how they are doing. This lowers the anxiety level when people can share.
Online “Bedtime Story” time for families a few times a week where a reader reads a few books and then everyone sings a song together. This short online time ends with a bedtime prayer.
Some nursing homes have iPads and have invited families to sign up for facetime with their loved ones. At the scheduled time they bring the iPad to the resident and the family/friends/church family is able to visit. (If some of your members are in a residential facility that is not allowing visitors, you can find out if they are offering this. If they are not, will they allow your church to donate some iPads in order to set this up. It is a way to help your resident member connect with church family and their own loved ones as well as providing outreach to other residents who would like to visit with their families.
One woman said that she cannot visit her father and because he is 90 years old and has trouble hearing, online video calls do not work. So every day she writes him a letter. Letters and calls are much appreciated by people for whom technology is a struggle and, honestly, for all of us!
One church set up a “help your neighbor” email address where members of the community can send emails to let the church know about food scarcity issues they are experiencing. A member of the church monitors the inbox and creates a spreadsheet of where there is need. Other members of the church have volunteered to help supply food so when a need comes in, those members are contacted and the church facilitates that person receiving help.
Another way to help your neighbor is the Fremont-based Tri-City at Risk program.

Chaplain Resources

  • Chaplaincy Inovation Lab shares resources for chaplains encountering coronavirus, click HERE
  • Hospice Foundation of America (HFA)-webinars specifically related to the COVID-19 crisis on topics like funerals/memorials during Covid 19, End of Life in nursing homes during COVID-19
  • Chaplaincy Innovation Lab (CIL) has a website  and a Facebook page hosting weekly free town halls and pertinent webinars and zoom meetings
  • Emory’s Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) offers free, live, online compassion practice and fellowship sessions. To join or for more information click HERE.

COVID 19 Resources

PSR is offering free access to the Professor of Practice series and other video content that will benefit church leaders on its Youtube channel.