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!

ECMN Recommendations & Communication

Guidelines and Planning Resource Document

ECMN has released the 3rd iteration of the ECMN Re-Gathering Planning Document on August 18th. The updates to this document center on the newly outlined plan for faith communities to move to gathering in person in faith community buildings in the months to come.

To be clear, there is no expectation that faith communities can/should/must return to their buildings.

Changes to this Document Since Previous Version 

  • We’ll be looking at the 7-day positivity rate as our metric for how we’ll determine which phase ECMN and individual faith communities are in.
  • The Building Use Task Force will accept plans for reopening church buildings in two phases.
  • Appendix A has been transformed into a metric that can be used to create a reopening plan for your faith community.
  • Additional clarification and best practices have been added to Appendix G for the practice of the Eucharist once faith communities return to in-person worship.

Reopening Church Buildings in Phase 1.5

As of August 18th, 2020, all in ECMN are still in Phase 1.5 of our Re-Gathering Plan. This means that the 7-day positivity rates are trending at or above 5% for either the state or county.

During Phase 1.5, the Building Use Task Force will now consider plans for the reopening of church buildings for use by clergy, church employees, volunteersand businesses or organizations operating in church buildings.  

The Guidelines for Phase 1.5 have been updated with more specific information.

Reopening Church Buildings in Phase 2

As we look ahead and prepare to move to Phase 2, we will shift our focus to the positivity rates of both the state and county in which a faith community is situated. In order to be considered in Phase 2, the 7-day positivity rates of the state AND county must both have trended under 5%. This means that some faith communities will likely move to Phase 2 before others based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in their counties.

When a faith community is considered in Phase 2, the Building Use Task Force will consider plans for opening buildings for ministries, outside groups, and limited capacity in-person worship. 

Download the Plan

Download ECMN Phases of Re-Gathering Document

(Version 3, Released August 18th)

Please let us know if there are further resources you need as you plan. We will do our best to continue to add to this document as time goes on. Email Rachel Babbitt, your Missioner for Community Engagement, at rachel.b@episcopalmn.org.

Submitting Your Plan

Once you are ready, you can click here to submit your plan for regathering to the Building Use Task Force.

Communication from ECMN

Click this link for links to all the messages that have been released from ECMN with recommendations, resources and updates.

Leading Beyond the Blizzard

Online Gatherings, Tuesdays at 2pm

These gatherings, hosted by Bishop Loya, are held weekly on Tuesdays at 2pm gathering for clergy and lay faith community leaders. This is our time to stay in relationship with one another, and learn and grow together.

During these gatherings, there will be time at the beginning to hear about updates and recommendations based on our current situation, but after that, we’ll spend time engaged in formation on a specific topic, and then break off into small groups for discussion, sharing, unpacking, idea-generating, and connecting with others across the state who are learning to lead through the long winter.

Click here to register. 

If you miss a gathering, you can find recordings from each week by clicking here.

Resources for Faith Communities

Webinars and Trainings

Click this link for recordings of past zoom meetings and webinars offered by ECMN, Episcopal Relief and Development, the CEEP network, and others.

Resources for Youth Gatherings

Click here to find resources to help those doing youth ministry continue to hone their plans for gathering young people throughout the year. We know there continues to be much complexity in planning, meanwhile the need for young people to gather in community is pressing. While they are not formal guidelines, this page includes a lot of resources and helpful ideas to help you in the planning process.

Financial Support for Faith Communities

There will be financial impacts on faith communities as this situation unfolds. There are resources available, and ECMN has formed a Financial Task Force to help vet resources, make them available, and walk with faith communities through whatever their financial journey may look like. Click here for more information

Worship Resources

Click here to find resources including best practices for offering online worship and services, as well as places to find livestreamed services on Sundays.

Pastoral Care Resources

Click here for resources on providing pastoral care for those within your faith communities, as well as finding places to receive pastoral care and support as a leader of a faith community.

Building Management and Planning Resources

Click here to find resources to help faith communities plan and prepare both for office and business closures, as well as for their eventual re-opening, including planning worksheets and building sanitiation guidelines.

Primary Resources for 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. 

Here's a great guide to resources available during this crisis. This is especially great for people with children at home!

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.