Ministers, Educators, Administrators and Clerks, please share this information with your congregation.  
March 19, 2020
Use Technology to Stay Connected
Following social distancing policies to reduce infection rates of COVID-19 will require congregations to redefine the concept of "together". Stay connected with congregation members, committees, and church staff during the weeks ahead using technology.

Members of Presbytery staff use or have used the resources below:
Facebook Live - free real-time video broadcasts; video stays on your page, but also can be uploaded to YouTube; if your page is public, users do not need a Facebook account to view

YouTube - free video hosting  

Skype - free group video calling for up to 50 people

Free Conference Call - free group calling and video conferencing; users may experience long-distance telephone charges

GoToMeeting - videoconferencing; $12 per month for meetings for up to 150 participants 

Zoom - videoconferencing; free for meetings up to 40 mins with Internet audio or $14.99 per month for unlimited time and telephone option
These are just a few of the many options available. PCMag lists others you may wish to consider.
Be aware that demand on these technologies and our internet capabilities is increasing every day as businesses and organizations implement remote work practices. Free Conference Call recommends starting calls or meetings at odd times, such as 1:15 or 2:40 instead of on the hour, to help ease resource demand.


Help is Available

If paying for technology is a financial hardship for your church, you will appreciate knowing that POJ's Trustees are prepared to help. Complete an expense report to request reimbursement for video- or audio-c onferencing services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

POJ's associate for communications may be able to help with your technology questions. Email Kelley Hope for assistance.

Have questions abo ut live-streaming and social media or need someone to brainstorm with? E-mail Mari Graham Evans, social media strategist for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, at social@pcusa.org .
Presbyterian Foundation Offers Financial Resources Specific to COVID-19 Crisis
The Presbyterian Foundation has put together a collection of resources and information with faith communities in mind during the COVID-19 crisis. 
Find:
  • Information from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • Stewardship suggestions
  • Licensing guidance for streaming worship services
  • Online giving services
  • Market update if you have invested with the Foundation. 


Online Giving a Practical Option During Social Distancing

If you are not currently offering online giving, this would be a good time to have this option available for your congregation. Even if people are using online bill pay, or mailing a check to the church, that still requires someone to come to the church, count the checks, go to the bank, and make a deposit. In contrast, online gifts are deposited directly into the church’s bank account. 

The Presbyterian Foundation has the lowest cost op tion available. Learn about the program and email your application to get started. Once the application has been processed, you will receive a link for a “Give Now” button to place on your website or social media. Depending on the demand, this process takes 5 to 7 days. 

Olanda Carr, ministry relations officer for our region, is available to answer your questions. Contact Olanda at 888-711-1318 (toll free) or by email . Deborah Rexrode, POJ's associate for Stewardship, also can help. Contact Deborah at 434-996-6032 or by email .
Letter from PC(USA) Leadership
Rev. Dr. J.Herbert Nelson, stated clerk of the General Assembly of PC(USA), and Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president of Presbyterian Mission Agency, address the crisis facing us in a pastoral letter to all Presbyterians. The letter begins:

Dear Siblings in Christ,
These are truly trying times for all of us as we face a rapidly spreading virus, panic buying that has left grocery shelves nearly empty and supplies in great demand. We have seen the worst in people and the best. Yet, through it all, we take hope in Christ and the promise to never leave us.
Working Together to Get Through
We are all in this together as we learn to cope with our new normal. Because the Presbyterian connectional system encourages us to learn from one another, PC(USA) and POJ encourage you to share ideas. What’s working well in your church community? What are your needs? Tell us what you need, offer suggestions, or suggest resources.

For example, MoreLight Presbyterians recently held a virtual communion service. Your session may wish to approve this concept during this time when we are unable to receive the bread and wine/juice in person.

If your church has resources for worship or Christian Education (such as lesson plans or printables) that you are willing to share with other churches, please email Kelley Hope .

You also may share your tips and needs with PC(USA) at  connected@pcusa.org .   
Camp Offers Comfort Even When Away
Check out Camp Hanover's Facebook account for inspiring messages, videos, and activities that may bring you peace and comfort during this time apart. Various spots at camp provided a beautiful backdrop for the virtual Vespers staff held on March 15. If you missed the live broadcast, the video is archived in their Facebook account so you can enjoy anytime you wish.
Stated Meetings
June 16
Presbytery of the James Stated Meeting
Salisbury PC, Midlothian
Overture deadline: April 21 at noon
Packet online: June 2
Oct 17
Presbytery of the James Stated Meeting
Orange PC, Orange
Overture deadline: Aug 20 at noon
Packet online: Oct 1
Calendar
In-person events through March 31 have been postponed; new dates will be determined once the health crisis is resolved. The Communication and Coordination Team will meet again on March 30 to determine the next best steps. If you have a question about a specific event, please contact POJ.
Online Clerk of Session Training
Clerks of session, especially those new to the position, are invited to an online training with stated clerk Fred Holbrook. Learn responsibilities as put forth in the Book of Order and other duties clerks of session might be asked to perform.
Date: April 26
Time: 4 to 6 p.m
Jobs
Churches throughout POJ are looking for new talent. Find information about opportunities on POJ's job board.

Searching for candidates? Submit a job.
Office Telephone (804) 262-2074