ACC Weekly Announcements    May 13, 2020
Pastors, Church Administrators and Secretaries, Bulletin Editors:
These weekly announcements are meant to be a helpful resource, especially for those of you who put your congregations' bulletins together on a weekly basis. If there are ways we could present this information more effectively please don't hesitate to pass on your ideas or give feedback.

Some churches forward the following information and community life announcements to their members using email while others post various events in their weekly bulletin, on their church website, or Facebook page. This and past columns are available on the ACC webpage at atlanticcoastconference.net/ba.
Please let us know if there are additional ways we can assist you as we serve together. 

Brook Musselman
Conference Coordinator, Atlantic Coast Conference 
(717) 394-8107

Thoughts for church leaders on reopening
With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to ease, how do we transition from reacting in crisis-response mode to engaging a more measured and reflective response mode for this next phase?

Read the full reflection by ACC staff and suggested approaches to reopening congregational life at http://atlanticcoastconference.net/reopening.
May 17 ACC-wide service
ACC staff is planning a worship service and inviting all ACC congregations to use the prerecorded service on or after May 17. Our hope is to give a break to congregational pastors and worship leaders. The video will include times of traditional and contemporary worship, a scripture reflection and short sermon. Congregations will be encouraged to continue any practices of meeting together virtually after viewing this service. This prerecorded service will be available for congregational use on May 17 or on a later date and should be available by Friday morning.

The service will focus on looking to the deep foundation God provides for us: a deep rootedness that sustains us in times of challenge. We are blessed with the gift of the Spirit with us and are not abandoned. Rather we are sustained in strength and hope allowing us to move forward through our fears & anxiety flourishing and bearing fruit! (As a tree planted by the river with roots nourished by refreshing waters or the context of Jesus’ disciples promised the Spirit to encourage and guide them) As others before us, we can provide hope and encouragement to others sharing the light & love of God. The service will reference John 14:15-20 and 25-27 and Jeremiah 17:7-8

New Resources for Congregations
To help make the numerous resources available to congregations more accessible, any resources shared over the last few weeks, along with those below, will be compiled at atlanticcoastconference.net/covid-19-resources/ .
Parish Resource Center webinars

Transitioning to Normalcy: Parenting in a Pandemic
Monday, May 18 at 2:00pm
Led by Parents and Pastors Kimberly Secrist Ashby and Andrew Gathman

Many parents had a comfortable community around their children – teachers in school and church, grandparents and family, mentors, neighbors, and friends. Now parents are isolated, solely responsible for their children’s mental, emotional, and physical health all while society undergoes a crisis. Learn to think about parenting in a new way, use different skills, and practice some simple exercises. Whether you are a parent or supporting parents around you, this webinar will help you frame the task of parenting in a helpful way during this challenging time. You are not alone. For more info and to register, click here.

Transitioning to Normalcy: HR Concerns
Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00am
Led by Attorneys at Gibbel Kraybill and Hess (GKH), Jeff Worley, J.D. and Ian Brinkman, J.D.

Churches and organizations are starting to think about transitioning employees back to onsite work. How can you act responsibly to protect your staff's safety and limit your liability through the transition? Trust GKH's experienced lawyers to find answers to your workplace questions; there will be ample time for Q&A during the webinar. For more info and to register, click here.
Webinar series equips pastors and ministry leaders during COVID-19

Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) is offering a series of webinars this month for pastors, leaders and Webinar series equips pastorsother faith workers. Led by denominational ministers and chaplains, the webinars provide tools to address the difficult realities faced by ministry leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund
Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Everence® and Mennonite Central Committee U.S. (MCC U.S.) have joined together to launch a COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund to aid churches facing financial crisis due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The new fund was seeded with a combined $550,000 commitment from MDS, Everence and MCC U.S. The fund will be administered by Everence Foundation. To date, 250 applications have come in for $1.2 million in requests.

Any congregations or individuals interested in giving to this relief fund, more information can be found at https://mds.mennonite.net/mds-everence-and-mcc-launch-covid-19-congregational-relief-fund/

Landis Communities Announcements
29th Annual Benefit Golf Outing

RESCHEDULED: Friday, July 24, 2020 Out of the utmost concern for clients, residents, staff, and a community of incredible supporters, the golf committee has proactively postponed our golf outing to Friday, July 24, 2020. To register as a golfer or sponsor, please go to https://landisadultday.org/golf/

MC USA Announcements
Mennonite Education Agency asks that we join in prayer for our Anabaptist-Mennonite schools and colleges, especially during this time of uncertainty and change. This month’s Prayers for Faith & Learning focuses on students. To subscribe: http://mennoniteusa.org/prayers-faith-learning 

Learn, Pray, Join
“To us, experiencing climate change is beyond record-breaking heat, another drought, a dying polar bear, a wilting garden. It is growing up while watching the future burn.” Take a moment and view climate change through the eyes of a young person in Lyn Hur’s blog, “Grieving for the world’s future” at http://mennoniteusa.org/grieving-worlds-future 

 Menno Snapshots
This isn’t the first time an epidemic interrupted church life. Travel back in time with history professor Steve Nolt to learn how the polio epidemic devastated the Shenandoah Valley in 1917 in his blog, “An epidemic that complicated Mennonite Church plans a century ago.” http://mennoniteusa.org/1917epidemic