COVID-19 Response Task Force
June 19, 2020

The Presbytery has been nurturing new connections as one response to the pandemic. If your congregation is successfully worshiping online through pre-recorded services or live streaming, why not extend a hand to another church to help them fill their pulpit during the pastor’s vacation/study leave?

Would you be willing to welcome another congregation to your worship service by mentioning the congregation by name and welcoming them at other points in the service? Some other ways you might help the visiting congregation feel welcome:

  • include a recorded message from a leader in their congregation (or pastor who will be on vacation)
  • introduce worshipers to each other with an interesting fact from each group (or share both mission statements)
  • include their specific prayer concerns
  • invite a liturgist or musician from this sister congregation to participate in the service
  • request offerings not only for your church, but theirs as well

In addition, some of our churches without consistent pastoral leadership desire to remain united as a congregation but are finding it difficult to fill their pulpit on a regular basis due to COVID precautions.

If you are willing to provide temporary worship options or would like to take advantage of such a connection, please contact the Presbytery office or your sister church directly. We would be happy to help facilitate contact and leave you to work out details.

A list of many Blackhawk church’s remote worship options is still posted on the website. If yours has changed, please contact the office.

NOTE: Co-Moderator Rev. Cindy Kohlmann is planning a complete online service for Sunday, July 5 - including communion. As soon as the link is available we will share. All are welcome to use this worship service!


As we continue to develop plans and take precautions to protect each other from the virus, let’s not forget to make sure the needs of our pulpit supply pastors are honored. 

Churches: Please share your plan for gathering in your building with the visiting preacher, and have a process in place for adhering to your precautions and restrictions. Guest pastors will need to rest reassured that they are stepping in to a situation where they feel comfortable.

Pulpit Supply Pastors: Communicate in advance your expectations and needs regarding procedures and protocols. We care about you and want you to feel safe!
Have You Finished Your Plan for Returning to Church?

Examples of church re-entry plans can be found on our website. Jim McCrea recently shared Galena First's detailed plans as well.

A group of Christian Education leaders in Blackhawk met for the very first time June 16 on Zoom. It was a time to meet each other and share ideas and ways to continue to reach and serve our children and youth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is so encouraging to see God’s hand in all you are doing. Barb D'Souza has compiled a list of the ideas that were shared. The group will meet again on July 28 at 7:00 pm (on Zoom) and anyone is welcome. The discussion will center around fall ideas. Contact the Presbytery office to be included.

NEXT UP - Clerks of Session!
Clerks are invited to their own Zoom meet & share gathering. Eric Heinekamp, our current and future Stated Clerk will facilitate this event on Thursday evening, July 2 at 7 p.m. Bring your questions and ideas and beverage of choice. An invitation will arrive in your email box, but you can contact the Presbytery office now to be included.

New Covered Period: you now have 24 weeks to spend the funds
New Percentages: A minimum of 60% must be spent on payroll, and up to 40% can be spent on non-payroll expenses.
New FTE guidelines: FTE reductions won't count against your forgiveness if you meet certain requirements (which MOST churches will).

You can read more (thanks to Chaney & Associates, Collaborative Stewardship)

Blackhawk Presbytery COVID-19 page - information from past COVID updates is added regularly

Please email the Presbytery office with your questions, concerns or suggestions. We are working from home and not monitoring the office phone.