COVID-19 Response from ECMN

Find below all of the information that has come out from ECMN regarding resources and recommendations regarding COVID-19 response, and a regularly updated list of resources. 

Have questions or need support?  Contact your Missioner for Community Engagement, Rachel Babbitt at rachel.b@episcopalmn.org, or 612-870-3321. Even though she's working from home, she'll get your voicemail!

CARES Act and Churches

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has many provisions that can offer financial relief and assistance to faith communities.  Click here for more information about what's available and how to apply.

The Bishop, Treasurer and Vice-President of ECMN Council provided more information about these provisions of the CARES Act, and how faith communities can access these funds. If you were unable to join, the meeting will be recorded, and the recording will be available here.

Holy Week Recommendations

Bishop Prior has published recommendations regarding how faith communities celebrate Holy Week from home, along with opportunities to share resources faith communities have already created, and use those shared resources. Find this notice here.

Expectations for Pastoral Care for the Sick and Dying

As we continue to adapt to a new reality in our lives and ministries, I am writing today to offer some further guidelines for the faithful and safe practice of pastoral care, ministry with the dying, and funerals. When I became your Bishop I never imagined I would write to you asking you to refrain for a season from visiting the sick, homebound, and the dying, but that is one more in a series of strange and painful things being asked of all of us in this moment. As hard as it is for me to accept, right now loving the world, caring for those most vulnerable and marginalized, and following the way of Jesus means keeping our physical distance. Click here for specific expectations regarding providing pastoral care for the sick and dying.

There was a gathering online to discuss the new expectations for pastoral care for the sick and dying, if you were unable to join, the meeting, you can watch the recording by clicking here.

Minnesotans Directed To Stay at Home

Governor Tim Walz announced an order that all Minnesotans are to stay at home beginning Friday, March 27th. I encourage you to listen to the Governor’s address in fullThis measure is meant to slow the rate at which COVID-19 spreads here in Minnesota.

Based on current recommendations from the CDC, the Governor’s office, and in accordance with the actions of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Prior recommends that faith communities discontinue holding any kind of in-person or public gatherings. The current thinking is that these protocols will be in place for at least eight weeks.

Click here to see Bishop Prior's message about this executive order.

Updates From ECMN

Recent Communications from ECMN

As events unfold, ECMN has sent out several notices. Please find links to all of these notices with important information below.

March 30th - A Message from Bishop Prior Regarding Holy Week

March 27th - A notice alerting ECMN that we have successfully completed the consent process required by the Episcopal Church in order to move forward with consecrating and ordaining our 10th Bishop. Good news!

March 24th - Resources for clergy and faith community leaders from LeaderWise and the Church Pension Group

March 24th - A notice from ECMN Leaders regarding the financial health of faith communities.

March 21st - An update on upcoming ECMN events.

March 17th - A notice regarding the Consecration of the Very Rev. Craig Loya as the X Bishop of ECMN.

March 13th - ECMN Response to COVID-19 Webinar Click here to watch the webinar

March 12th - A Message from Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior Regarding COVID-19 Click here for a link to the email communication with this information. Here is a link to a PDF of this information

March 4th - Resources and Response Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) Here's a link to the email that was sent with this information. 

Clergy and Lay Leader Facebook Group

A Facebook group for ECMN clergy and lay leaders to share resources, problem-solve, and support one another. LOTS of links will be posted there.

Upcoming Events

Tuesdays with Bishop Prior

If you are a faith community leader, please place a hold on your calendar for Tuesdays at 2pm for the foreseeable future. Bishop Prior will be hosting a weekly webinar to update everyone on the situation as it unfolds, and we will invite different voices to provide perspective and help us all plan during these eight weeks and beyond. Please click here to register.

Episcopal House of Prayer - Contemplative Prayer Online Gatherings

Wednesdays at 5:30pm. The Episcopal House of Prayer will be offering contemplative prayer via Zoom at 5:30 every Wednesday evening. Click here for an update from the Director, Christine Luna Munger, and to learn more about the Wednesday evening gatherings.

LeaderWise Online Gatherings

Thursdays at 12pm. ECMN partner LeaderWise is offering weekly zoom conversations, Thursdays at 12, called Joining Together in Resilience: Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves. Learn more here.

Webinars and Recordings

Episcopal Relief and Development

Is offering weekly webinars. Click here to watch or listen to past webinars on addressing isolation during quarantine and a ministerial response to COVID-19. 

The CEEP Network

This network has offered several useful webinars on various topics, including Communications in the Time of COVID-19, Parish administration in an evolving time, and resource to support church fundraising. You can watch these archived webinars on their youtube channel by clicking here. 

ECMN Faith Leaders Weekly Webinars

Find links below to recordings of webinars offered to ECMN faith leaders regarding updates and resources about COVID-19 and it's impact on faith communities.

March 30th - holy week recommendations and an introduction to the CARES act

March 24th - ECMN events and planning for emergency responses

March 13th - an overview of initial recommendations and situation update

ECMN - Pastoral Care

Last week, faith leaders form across ECMN gathered for a conversation on Pastoral Care. Check out the recording of the zoom here.

Please read the notes from the Community Engagement virual meet-up here

Primary Resources for Up-to-Date Information & Guidelines

Centers for Disease Control

Helpful resources for faith community leaders.

A pandemic preparedness checklist.

Minnesota Department of Health

Has a main page which is constantly updated with information specific to cases and response to the situation here in Minnesota. 

The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church has curated resources that can be found here. Stay up to date on words of love and encouragement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. 

Episcopal Relief and Development

Offers great resources for faith leaders that we commend to you, including recordings of the webinars they have been offering.

Low-cost health insurance lists/community resources with the State of Minnesota.

Resources for Faith Communities

Planning Resources

Priority Planning Document: a helpful resource for faith communities and organizations as they plan to be away from normal operations for an indefinite period of time.

Week by Week Planning Document: a week by week guide for planning with questions to ask, guidelines and tips.

Emergency Action Plan Template: a helpful resource for faith communities looking to put together a plan for how to respond to the crisis, as well as how to plan for when we return to business as usual.

Financial and Management Resources

The CEEP Network and The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) offered a moderated conversation about money, meaning, and ministry for volunteer stewardship teams. Click here to watch the video recording of this webinar.

Virtual Meetings & Gatherings

If your faith community is looking at utilizing online platforms to host meeting and stream services, here are some resources to help.

First, One License is offering a free license to stream music online as a response to COVID-19.

Some EXCELLENT advice about online worship from Sarah Stonesifer Boylan.

A step by step guide from the Church of England on going live on various platforms.

The Diocese of Chicago created a resource for offering online worship.

The Diocese of San Diego put together resources for how to livestream your service.

Techsoup helps you go live on Facebook in just 5 easy steps.

See this webinar recording from Lifelong Learning at VTS about best practices for hosting online meetings.

Pastoral Care

The University Episcopal Community, made up primarily of young adults, many of whom are college students, created a Community Care Check-in. See their survey here.

Pastoral Care Meet-Up lead by your Missioner for Formation, Susan Daughtry, on March 18. Check out the video of that Zoom call here, and read the notes that came out of the conversation here. 

Plan a Phone Tree to keep your community connected. 

10 Ways to Respond Creatively to Anxiety about COVID-19, a blog resources from your Missioner for Formation, Susan Daughtry. 

Home Prayer & Worship

Forward Movement is offering an array of free resources to support individuals, families, and groups as they worship and pray at home.

The Minnesota Council of Churches has put out a survey in order to create a comprehensive list of faith communities offering live-streaming worship services. Fill it in with your faith community's offerings, then stay tuned for the link to the list!

Please also update the Episcopal Asset Map to reflect your live-stream offerings. 

In addition to many others around the state and the nation, both Washington National Cathedral and St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral are offering live-streaming worship on Sunday mornings. Washington National Cathedral worship takes place at 11:15 am Eastern, and St. Mark's takes place at 10:30am Central time. 

A blog for leaders of faith suggests ways to provide pastoral presence to ourselves and to one another amidst this situation.

ChurchNext offers online resources for Prayer and Worship at home that are AWESOME!

The Book of Common Prayer for home use.

A resource for those with children and youth to provide at-home formation. 

Treasure Box Tuesday, a weekly round-up of devotional resources.

Sacred Design Lab is offering a daily "Family Chapel." 

Our local partners, Leaderwise, are offering weekly Zoom meetings they're calling Joining Together in Resilience: Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves

Resources for Self-Care and Care for Others

Mental Health

Do you need support with helping your community around anxiety and stress during this situation? Check out these two sites: CDC Anxiety ManagementHow to Stay Calm Amid Coronavirus Anxiety 

Substance Abuse Support

Many substance abuse support groups are going virtual right now. On their websites, you can find links and guidelines to stay connected to your community.

Physical Health

While gyms are closed to prevent the spread of this illness, being active can help your stress and anxiety. YouTube and other streaming services offer many guided practices you can do in your own home, and getting out for a walk, run, or bike ride - as long as you keep your distance from others - is still advisable. 

High-risk Population Support

If you are looking for ways to support your neighbors and community members, please check out these two offerings of ways to create mutual aid.
COVID Mutual Aid
Help a Neighbor 2020 

Unemployment 

If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment benefits.

United Way

United Way 2-1-1 provides free and confidential health and human services information for people in Minnesota. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to connect you with the resources and information you need. Whether you are in crisis or need a little support, United Way can help. 

Second Harvest Heartland: Emergency Food Box

Hunger doesn’t wait. While COVID-19 affects our community, helping our neighbors experiencing hunger is more necessary than ever. Missing work and an uncertain economy means families are missing meals. Second Harvest Heartland is providing emergency food boxes in response to the expected increase in need of food assistance.

Small Business Assistance. 

If you or someone in your community owns a small business that is struggling, please see this guide, prepared by the state of Minnesota. 

Support Performing Artists

Dozens of theater companies, musical ensembles, dance troupes, and more have had to cancel performances. Organizations like these operate on very thin margins already, and artists will have to go without paychecks. If you're able, please consider donating to some of your favorite artistic organizations—particularly the small ones—during this time. Learn more about the economic impact of the arts in Minnesota here. Not sure who to support? Check out this running list of organizations that have cancelled or postponed their events

Support Hospitality Workers

As restaurants across the state are closed, those whose livelihood depends on tips will suffer. Consider ordering food to go from your neighborhood, family-owned restaurants and leaving a generous tip for those working when you pick up your food. This is a low-risk activity for healthy people.

Resources for Building Sanitation

Cleaning supplies/sanitation link MN Dept of Health.
One-page sign for prevention of the spread of viruses.
Viruses don't discriminate poster.
Hand hygiene signs.