Coronavirus Resources


The Conference is gathering resources and ideas around pastoral care in times of isolation, remote stewardship strategies, live stream worship services, on-line spiritual resourcing, virtual meeting platforms and more.  Resources and communications will be updated here as we become aware of them.  If you have resources to share please send them to resourcecenter@wcucc.org.

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CORONAVIRUS COMMUNICATIONS

Conference Minister Coronavirus Update March 24, 2020

Dear friends and colleagues,

Never have we experienced a season of Lent quite like this. Amidst the worries and cautions of Covid 19 this call to social distancing brings a spiritual opportunity to pause and reflect.

Today, I am recalling Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. I imagine his time of isolation brought fear as well as wonder, both fatigue and renewal. Throughout these days of social retreat, I have experienced an array of emotions and spiritual reflections. At times I feel worried and stressed, fretting about our fragile churches and faithful people. I worry about getting sick, as I’m sure you do. I worry about the catastrophic toll this pandemic is taking on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

Yet, I am also discovering a few moments each day that feel strangely Sabbath-like. Precious time in the early mornings with a rambunctious little puppy retriever named Theodore. When he flops over for a nap, I sense the stillness and quiet presence of God. While Trinn and I frantically toil in our makeshift offices, we also cherish having our two college age children on extended hiatus with us. It’s chaotic and it’s also beautiful. Last night after dinner we played euchre and enjoyed a fire. I found myself savoring the moments and acknowledging the preciousness of life.

These are challenging times, and we remember in our prayers the poor, the sick, the grieving and the growing number of unemployed. Yet, these days also bring some new perspectives and sweet blessings. I am grateful for feelings of togetherness in family, and for a sense of a larger bond of love that we experience in the community of faith. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, and not to be missed or dismissed amidst the strains and stresses.

By now, you are aware that Governor Evers has issued a “Safer at Home” order for the entire state. As residents of Wisconsin, this means we are expected to remain cloistered in our homes for the foreseeable future. Yes, it is fine to venture outside for some exercise, or for prescriptions, supplies and groceries, or even to pick up dinner at a carry out restaurant – all with vigilant caution and distancing protocols. As people of faith, we understand the highest calling is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Thus, we must observe these guidelines for the sake of keeping love and saving lives.

The implication of the Governor’s “Safer at Home” order on our churches is very clear – “all for-profit and non-profit businesses with a facility in Wisconsin, except essential operations, are required to cease all activities at their facilities.” This means we are expected to close our buildings and conduct all of our work remotely. My strong recommendation is that you cease all at-church work and meetings, all office hours, all in-church administrative support and digital worship recording. The order does acknowledge social services (such as food pantries) as “essential” though with strict distancing practices. It also allows an exception for Weddings and Funerals, but requires fewer than 10 people and social distancing. Additionally, the order allows for Minimum Basic Operations that preserve the value and condition of the business, such as cleaning, payroll and any necessary activities that facilitate employee remote working (for example, the need to pick up additional supplies).

We are making this shift today at the Trost Center. All employees will work remotely until the order is lifted. You are invited to reach any of us directly via email, phone or text. Download a list of staff contact information here. The voicemail message at the Trost Center will guide callers to either call my cell phone or Sue Taylor’s phone.

Please click here to keep reading for important information and resources.

Download the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ guide Preparing for “Safer at Home” here.

 

Conference Minister Coronavirus Updates:

March 19, 2020   Read update here

March 16, 2020   Read update here

March 14, 2020   Read update here

March 12, 2020   Read update here


RESOURCES

General Coronavirus Information

United Church of Christ Coronavirus and the Church web resources

The Wisconsin Council of Churches web resources

  • A Faith-based Response to the Coronavirus comprehensive resource – download here.
  • Webinar Epidemic Preparedness for Faith-based Organizations can be viewed on demand here.
  • Webinar March 24, 1:00 pm, free – Creating Live-streamed Worship.  Register here
  • Other resources for streaming worship can be found here

 

 

 

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