Resources for effective church leaders
+ April 14, 2020
New Cares Act FAQ from Churchwide

We have new resources available addressing Paycheck Protection Program loans for churches. An FAQ document and a video to explain the process are available at
Update on Benefits for Churches, Employees

An update from Treasurer Janet H. Neff, CPA: Please be advised that if a church moves employees from full time to part time, they can still file for unemployment under the new CARES act. A church can also file for the Payroll Protection Program and the Emergency Economic Injury Grants.
Some Good Ministry News
In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, SEPA congregations are stepping up to continue or create ministries to serve their neighbors. Here are a couple of these stories.

What is your congregation doing to serve in this time? Send your information, stories and/or photos to Bob Fisher and we will publish them next week.
Feast of Justice is Food 'Supersite' in Northeast Philly

As the need for emergency food grows in Philadelphia and food sites dwindle, Feast of Justice in Northeast Philadelphia decided not to close and instead expanded its services to food-insecure people in the city. They are prepared to serve from 600-700 households per week, up from 285 households a week before COVID-19.

Given the needs in the community, "w e decided to partner with the city to become one of the “supersites” distributing food to households without ID or pre-registration. We transformed our model so it is very low contact and high volume. We now give approximately 20lb of dry goods, along with 30 lb of meat, dairy, produce, and grab-and-go foods.

"To say we are exhausted and overwhelmed is a gross understatement," Neale says. "But we see God at work every single day. Our volunteers and paid staff are amazing. The generosity of individuals and groups is humbling. We are fed and nourished in our spirit by the work that we are able to do daily." 

LSH Steps Up for Seniors, Families, and Victims of Abuse

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutheran Settlement House is defined as a life-sustaining organization. Remaining open,they quickly adapted to offer services to more people as the needs in our community have grown:

  • Keeping in touch with seniors through meals, phone calls, and yoga and meditation via conference call.
  • With needs spiking, the food pantry is available to anyone in need, Monday-Friday, 9-3.
  • How do you shelter in place if you don’t have a home? Jane Addams Place, a family shelter, continues to be a home for approximately 30 adults and 70 children. 
  • Being asked to shelter-in-place with an abusive partner is a dangerous and frightening reality for too many people. LSH continues to answer Philadelphia’s 24-hour domestic violence hotline (866-723-3014). They are also using telephone and video conferencing to provide counseling.

Lutheran Settlement House is making sure adults, children, and families are welcomed, cared for, and kept safe. Please contact LSH with questions or requests for assistance: 215-426-8610. If you can help, donations can be made online at

Over a dozen members of Good Shepherd, King of Prussia, sewed hundreds of masks for the Devereux Foundation. The picture represents just a small sampling.

Augustus Lutheran Church, Trappe, packed and delivered 150 bag lunches for the guests at the soup kitchen at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norristown. They supported a local business by asking them to make the sandwiches.

Christ's Lutheran Church, Trumbauersville , and New Creation, Kensington , have received matching ELCA Daily Bread grants to support their feeding ministries.
In Other News
Bishop Davenport's Easter Message
"There Will Be Joy"
A Video Message From Bishop Eaton
Bishop Eaton: Freed in Christ

In her April column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on this paradox found in Martin Luther’s treatise On the Freedom of a Christian: “A Christian is lord of all, servant of all, completely free of everything. A Christian is servant, completely attentive to the needs of all.” Read her column in English at and in Spanish at
We Pray...
...For the church  

  • For Bishop Kevin Strickland and the Southeastern Synod as they respond to devastating and fatal tornadoes across their territory.
  • For our congregations as they navigate this uncertain time, especially those who are financially fragile. 
  • 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 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 and Feast of Justice, as they serve the people entrusted to them. 
...For those who mourn  

  • For the family of Rev. Violet C. Little on the death of her mother.
  • For those who; have died of COVID-19, including Barbara and Beverly.
  • For the family and friends of Pastor Cindy Ray, who has died. 
  • For the family of Pastor Charles Leonard on the death of his brother 
  • For the family of Rev. Dr. John Vannorsdall (LTSP president 1986-1990) who died of complications of COVID-19. His wife, Patricia, is currently hospitalized with the same diagnosis 
  • For the family of Pastor Kay Braun on the death of her father, Mike Bender, who died April 3. 
  • The family of  the Rev. Charles H. Eiss, Jr who died on March 1. 
...For those in need of healing  

  • Pastor Arlene Greenwald
  • The cousin of Pastor Bob Fisher, who has COVID-19
  • For all who are infected with COVID-19 
  • For the brother of Pastor Violet Little, who is infected with COVID-19 
  • For colleagues in the Lutheran World Federation who have contracted the virus or are exposed. 
...For those who are at risk of COVID-19  

  • For all healthcare workers who are facing this growing crisis with no end in sight. 
  • For all those called to be hospital chaplains, doing their best to walk with patients, families and medical staff in spiritually trying times 
  • For all the college students quarantined on their campuses, including Kendall 
  • For the staffs of our Lutheran retirement and nursing communities, and for the volunteers making cloth masks for their work. 
  • 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 in Philadelphia 
...For all affected by this pandemic, physically, mentally, or economically
  • For our children, of all ages, isolated from their lifeblood of time with friends. And for parents and guardians, school guidance counselors and therapists who recognize and help them deal with their fears and anxieties. 
  • For those who are unemployed and underemployed 
  • 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 
  • For those experiencing anxiety, depression, and/or risk of suicide during this crisis. 
  • 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. 
...For the whole world  

  • For those who are unjustly imprisoned, especially refugees, that they may soon know God's mercy and care in the joy of freedom.  
  • 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. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers!  
Send your prayer concerns and thanksgivings to 
Thank you
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The Rev. Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop for mission interpretation/communications  / 267.323.3743