Physical distancing and giving
While all of our churches may be shut down, it is important to remember that the expenses of your congregation don't go away just because no one is physically present. If you are not being economically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, please remember to keep up financial support to your congregation. Many congregations already have online giving options in place. For those that do not, the diocese is collecting donations online and dispersing the funds to the individual congregations with no added fees. The hexagonal button to this link can be found on the homepage of the diocesan website, labelled Online Giving.

For those who are unable to donate to their church at this time, why not offer up a service instead? You could send cards or write to or call other congregants, or check in with older parishioners or neighbors and offer to run any errands they need done. Check with your church's leadership to point you toward specific needs your congregation may have. Connection with each other and with our neighbors is more important than ever!
Congregations streaming services
Congregations are continuing to send in information about streaming their services. We are curating this list on our Doing church during COVID-19 resource page and updating it as information is received. If your church is not streaming services, encourage parishioners to "attend" another church during this time by watching another church's service. #DSOConnectTheDots!

Additionally, the Episcopal Asset Map invites churches who are livestreaming services to update their worship information on the map as soon as possible. Using the process below, please let us know what services you are livestreaming, whether those offerings are regular, semi-regular, or occasional services, and in what language they are offered.
 
What follows is a step-by-step process to add the information.  YOU DO NOT NEED A LOG-IN TO ADD INFORMATION.  
 
  1. Visit www.episcopalassetmap.org and search for your pin. The simplest way I’ve found is to search city and state, though your congregation’s name may be rare enough that there are only a couple (did you know there actually is one St. Swithin’s in The Episcopal Church?)
  2. Click on your pin, and when the drawer pulls out on the right side, click either the name itself or “More Details”
  3. On the place page, click “Update this place”
  4. On the left side of the page, click the Worship tab; from here, you can either add a new service or edit an existing one.
  5. To add a livestream notation to an existing worship service: click “Edit” on the ministry. In the language field, add “live stream”. Describe in the worship style box what the service is called and how it can be accessed (e.g., Compline is offered on our Facebook page every Wednesday night through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/calvaryrochester; or Follow us on Instagram to get a notification when we go live for Sunday services of Morning Prayer, Rite II - @calvaryrochester). Then move to step 5.
  6. To create a new worship service listing: click “Add Worship Times”. In the resulting box, enter the day of the week the service occurs. If it is an occasional or semi-regular offering, select “Does not repeat weekly” and in the following box, enter what information you know (Occasional; third Sunday of each month; alternating Mondays, etc.). Enter the time of the service. In the language box, type first the spoken languages in which worship is offered. Then type “live stream”. Describe in the worship style box what the service is called and how it can be accessed (e.g., Compline is offered on our Facebook page every Wednesday night through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/calvaryrochester; or Follow us on Instagram to get a notification when we go live for Sunday services of Morning Prayer, Rite II - @calvaryrochester). Then move to step 5.
  7. At the bottom of the page, click “Save and Submit”. You’ll be asked to provide your name and email address – just in case your diocesan map administrator needs to contact you about the change you submitted. We don’t share this information! Then click “Save and Submit” again.
 
After you’ve submitted these changes, they’ll be sent to your diocesan map administrators for review and publishing .

Once they’re published, the map will be updated here: iam.ec/eamlive
Endowment and Parish Finance During Times of Uncertainty
Attention church treasurers:

The CEEP Network presents a free webinar:
Stay Calm, Stay Connected, and Seek Opportunity: Endowment and Parish Finance During Times of Uncertainty

Monday, March 23
3:00pm EDT
 
Many have been yanked out of their comfort zone – particularly as related to parish finances and long-term investments. Join subject matter experts for a conversation on what endowment trustees and managers, foundation managers, treasurers, clergy, and other parish leaders should consider when managing long-term investments and endowments in uncertain times. Panelists will discuss caution and opportunity; communication and governance; and, maintaining a calm posture in moments of uncertainty. Join these thought leaders to better understand how to not only survive, but thrive.  
 
Topics will include:
  • Why should we stay calm? What do the lessons of past declines and recoveries tell us? 
  • Where to exercise caution, where to seek opportunity?
  • What are some likely scenarios to recovery? 
  • Where can we go with our fixed income positions? 
  • How much cash should we build up?
  • How to communicate with our parish about our endowment practices?  
Panelists include:
  • Deirdre McElroy, Principal, Journeying Your Money. CEEP Planning Committee Member.
  • JoAnn Hanson, President and CEO, The Church Investment Group
  • Bill Jarvis, Managing Director, Bank of America
  • Joseph J. Matthews, Alternative Investments Director and First Vice President, Morgan Stanley
  • Jim Murphy, Managing Program Director, Endowment Management, Planned Giving and Donor Solutions, Episcopal Church Foundation
  • Carsten Sierck, Program Director for Endowment Management, Planned Giving and Donor Solutions, Episcopal Church Foundation

The CEEP Network offers this webinar as a gift to the Church in this challenging time. There is no-cost to participate but registration is required.  

Please register here:
Keep checking our COVID-19 resource page . New information is being posted daily!
Connect with the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas
The Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas, Terrace Park wants to stay connected to you! We can't gather as a community to hear the music of Bach in the intimate space of St. Thomas, but we still want to share music with you. So, we are starting a project of sharing short performances with you via our social media outlets. Be sure to follow us on all or any of the channels listed below, and enjoy the messages and music from the wonderful family of Bach Vespers musicians!


Today's performance is Artistic Director Carlton Monroe, sharing his favorite Bach Melody.
Tell us your stories!
One bright spot in this gloomy time of fear and uncertainty is hearing the many stories of how faith communities are coming up with creative and innovative ways to stay connected. What has your church been doing that's fun or unique? Tell us about it - we would love to share all your creative ideas! Send your stories (along with pictures or screen shots) to communication@diosohio.org and we will share them in future newsletters.
Using Zoom to virtually connect
Due to heavy usage of the diocesan Zoom account, we are encouraging congregations to set up their own Zoom accounts. We have several resources related to creating a Zoom account on our COVID-19 Resources page, including a video tutorial on using Zoom, best practices for Zoom meetings, and a step-by-step guide on how to join a Zoom meeting.

Congregations are still free to use the diocesan account, but in the long run signing up for and learning to use your own account will be better for connecting with your congregants.  If you are trying to do it on your own and having difficulty, call or email us and we’ll help talk you through it.

Zoom has both free and paid plans, the biggest difference between the two is the length of time for the meetings. Free plans are limited to 40-minute meetings. If your congregation absolutely needs to be on a paid plan and can't afford it, contact Communications Director David Dreisbach and he will see if we can help.
Connecting with staff
We are doing all we can to make it easy to continue to connect with the bishop's staff as we work remotely for the next two weeks. The easiest way to reach all staff members is via email or by calling their direct dial numbers  listed on our  website or at this link .