As we write, much has changed in a week—and yet much remains unknown. We work to serve you by offering as much guidance as we can for this complex and painful moment in ministry, doing the best with what we’ve got. We hope to free you to do your ministry in your place. Just like Jesus who healed the man who was blind with spit and mud, we can work with the miry, messy tools at our fingertips to promote healing and wholeness. We see you all out there, doing your best, offering what you've got. We're aiming to heal like Jesus, healing and holding it together with spit and mud.
We have resources for healing below. And we need you to fill out this form.
MASSACHUSETTS COUNCIL OF CHURCHES COORDINATES STATEWIDE RESPONSE:
Church, we need you to fill out this form. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), we are creating an interactive web map to identify organizations providing vital services to those most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, especially those serving vulnerable populations. As this crisis goes on, we know more vulnerable populations will be in greater need of support.
To capture this information, we ask that ONE clergy person/designated leader only from each congregation/church complete this form. We only need one submission from each congregation. We are looking to identify feeding programs, 12-step meetings, parking lots, nursery facilities, and potential volunteers for spiritual caregiving, both in person and remotely. If your church has multiple locations, we ask that you fill out a survey for each location. This will ensure that locations will appear within the community that they serve.
Please fill out this form only once:
Resources for You and Your Church:
· Pastors' Open Office Hours Continue. We know that this is uncharted territory for pastors. It’s hard to know where to turn for answers when no one has them. If you are feeling isolated or like you could use some extra help, please join us for open office hours on Zoom:
By phone: 312 626 6799 or 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 438 234 6652
o Thursday, March 26, 1-2 PM
o Monday, March 30, 3-4 PM
o Thursday, April 2, 6-7 PM
· Funeral Guidelines and More Resources. We are gathering resources on our website at https://www.masscouncilofchurches.org/covid-19-response/. Our Guide to Christian Funerals During COIVD 19 was posted this week.
· Prioritizing the most vulnerable. We’re making a commitment to churches that are most vulnerable, those that are 1-2 offerings away from closure, those where pastors are paid by what comes in the plate that morning. We are working to create a Pastors’ Emergency Fund that would prioritize those pastors with working-class congregations and financially precarious lives. If you would like to help with establishing this fund and developing guidelines for donors and recipients, please be in touch at email@example.com.
Rev. Laura was live on our Facebook page yesterday talking with you about ministry in this time and taking questions. If you missed it you can catch the video here. Please continue to connect with us, and let us know how we can help support your ministry.
In your prayers, remember us, and this one body of Christ which we share.
Revs. Laura, Meagan, Kenneth, and Carrington
PS- Pray for the 2020 class of Lydia Fellows, whose first fellowship dinner is tonight and now online. Pray for these skilled part-time and bivocational pastors who are doing creative ministry in hard days. May God sustain and uphold them. May we all learn from and with them. Amen.