SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SYNOD | ELCA
Resources for effective church leaders
+ April 1, 2020
We Pray…

The Synod staff holds you and your congregation in prayer.
  • For our congregations as they navigate this uncertain time, especially those who are financially fragile.
  • For our rostered ministers who are working hard to transition church services and programs to the digital realm, that they might find rest and refreshment.
  • For the food ministries across our synod who serve growing numbers of food insecure people, that they might find the funds, volunteers and food supplies to meet their needs.
  • For our ministries among the marginalized, especially Welcome Church and The Well as they serve the people entrusted to them.
  • For Presiding Bishop Eaton, Bishop Davenport, and all of our bishops, and for our Deans, assistants to the bishop and administrative staff as they lead the church in this uncertain time.
  • For those who are unemployed and underemployed
  • People who are suffering from COVID-19
  • People who live alone or are hospitalized away from family.
  • For those who grieve and who are not able to gather with family to mourn their loss, including the family of the Rev. Charles H. Eiss, Jr., who died on March 1.
  • For our doctors, nurses, respiratory and pulmonary specialists, as well as the maintenance workers who keep hospitals sanitized and functioning, that the love of God surrounds them as the place themselves in danger.
  • For essential workers - firefighters, police, EMTs, grocery clerks and stockers, workers in the financial sector -- who are in harm's way.
  • For the families of healthcare and public safety workers who assume greater risk of contracting the virus.
  • For our police and all who are victimized by the spike in violent crime seen in Philadelphia
  • For colleagues in the Lutheran World Federation who have contracted the virus or are exposed.
  • For our national and local leaders; our president, our governors and their administrations, and public health workers as they race to contain this virus outbreak.
  • For the college students who remain on campus away from their families, while taking digital courses.
  • For the high school students, particularly seniors, missing graduation and end-of-year activities.

If you have a concern you would like us to pray for, send it to prayers@sepa.org.
Food Distribution Volunteers in PHL

Feast of Justice is in need of volunteers to help with food distribution. You can sign up at https://serve.volunteermatch.org/search/opp3281214.jsp

The city has a portal for you to search volunteer opportunities or to post your volunteer needs at https://serve.volunteermatch.org/

Holy Week Liturgies Available

Traditional (ELCA) Lutheran liturgies have been adapted to accommodate social distancing and shelter in place directives at https://waytolead.org/holy-week/ . They remain true to the day, but use creative adaptations to communicate the significance of the days and rites for the time we are in. Matthew O’Rear has a gift for honoring and translating the traditions to make them come alive in context.

Created by Matthew O’Rear, a gifted liturgical theologian who designed the Service of the Word PowerPoint for LEAD’s Digital Worship webinar, each liturgy includes a full set of PowerPoint slides that can be used as is or customized for your own congregation. Please note: While we deeply respect the pastoral decisions of each congregation, in keeping with the directive of ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, please be aware that the liturgies do not include the celebration of the Eucharist.
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Holy Week liturgies for home use are available on the ELCA Worship Blog .

Options Under Federal CARES Act

Congress has passed three acts recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provide  significant assistance that is available to churches, religious organizations and their employees.

The FFCRA  requires employers to provide paid sick leave  for employees and provides payroll tax credits to employers (including churches) to pay for the sick leave and for family and medical leave resulting from COVID-19.

The  CARES Act provides a multitude of assistance to churches and their employees , including: Payroll Tax Relief, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, Paycheck Protection Program, and Charitable Contribution Incentives.

Masks Needed For Healthcare Workers
If you can sew,  Liberty Lutheran  needs your help! Healthcare workers in Southeastern Pennsylvania have an urgent need for face masks amidst the outbreak of COVID-19. Help us reach our goal of delivering 3,000 face masks in the next two weeks to protect healthcare workers.

For full instructions click the image above or click here .
A Video Message From Bishop Eaton
Thank you
for taking the time to read this edition of MinistryLink.  Tell fellow church members and colleagues to subscribe by clicking here.

The Rev. Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop for mission interpretation/communications
rfisher@sepa.org  / 267.323.3743