SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SYNOD | ELCA
Resources for effective church leaders
+ April 21, 2020
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.
'Love In a Ziplock Bag'

With the shut down, it has become increasingly difficult for unhoused folks to have access to food at the usual places. New partnerships need to be formed and last week the Welcome Church, Grace Lutheran in Hatfield and the people of St. John's in Ambler combined to deliver 217 PB and J sandwiches and three flats of snack bags to Project Home on Fairmount in Philly. They will distribute the food to those who need it.

"Love comes in many forms and sometimes it comes in a ziplock bag," says Lou Farrell, who organized the drive. And you can help. Here's how it works:

1.       We will leave a cooler with ice outside of Grace all day on Tuesday.
2.       You make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread and put them in ZIPLOC bags. Use cheap white bread with gobs of PB and J. A loaf will get you nine sandwiches. Please consider buying two loaves.
3.       Make the kind of sandwiches that your Mom used to yell at you about. Load them up. We want to fill bellies.
4.       Leave your donation in the labeled cooler sometime between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on Tuesday. Please email lou.farrell@gmail.com  to let him know how many sandwiches that you made and if the cooler needs to be emptied.
5.       Lou will drop everything off on Wednesday morning.

They are also in need of someone to loan/donate a large cooler. Contact Lou for more information.
Bishop: Thank You for Meaningful Worship!
Keep Up With Communications

Last Thursday's Communications Care and Share covered a variety of topics. Participants shared ideas about ways to engage technology beyond worship services, pros/cons and how-tos with Zoom, electronic giving options, and more.
Synod News
Update For Congregations in Transition

From the Office of the Bishop and the Committee of Deans:
The Pandemic of Covid-19 has brought sudden and drastic changes to our way of life and to the way our congregations of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod are carrying out their ministries. It is stressful for all of us and certainly for those congregations that are in the midst of pastoral transition. We want to assure you that we are holding all congregations in prayer, and that we are keenly aware of the difficulty that our current restrictions pose for the mobility process. We are also seeking new and creative ways to facilitate the interim and call processes in these trying times.

 If Congregation Councils or Call Committees have specific questions about their transition process, please contact your conference dean. We ask for your patience and prayers, as we trust the Holy Spirit for guidance and encouragement.
Join Bishop, Black Clergy in Online Unity Prayers
Click the image above for printable version
Learning Opportunities

Online Security Webinar, April 21

Do you receive emails asking you to send money or trying to trick you into giving up sensitive information? Do you know what to do if your data or the congregation’s data has been breached? Do you want to learn how best to protect yourself and the church from online threats?

Please join us on Tuesday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Central Time for a free webinar for ELCA congregations and synods. Chris Hueneke, information security advisor for the ELCA churchwide organization, will host the webinar, covering these topics and more. You'll learn how to avoid phishing email attacks, protect sensitive data and prevent malware infections, and what to do if your data has been breached.

This event requires no registration. On the morning of April 21, simply go to  this link  and click on the field marked "Join the event." You'll be connected immediately. If you have any questions, please contact  techtraining@elca.org .


ELCA Leadership Coaching!

Every Wednesday at 1:00 pm Central Time, the ELCA Coaching Network gathers together on Zoom to offer support and accompaniment to any rostered minister. 

The ELCA has a network of trained coaches who accompany leaders in a variety of ministry areas including stewardship. During this unprecedented time, coaching is offered at no cost. For more information, contact   jill.beverlin@elca.org . The Wednesday 1:00 pm Zoom connection can be found at  https://zoom.us/j/180439412 .
7 Ways to Keep Donations Flowing During the
COVID-19 Crisis

Stewardship expert Rob Blezard, one of our workshop leaders at our Stewardship Extravaganza in January, outlines steps your church can take to address the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis. Key strategies include staying in communication with donors, including an offering time in online worship, and considering the CARES relief program.
Volunteer Opportunities
COVID-19 Resources
Updates From Philadelphia Mayor's Office

Free pregnancy, baby, and toddler support during COVID-19

Are you pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler? The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19. Read more.

Black men and boys are not immune to COVID-19

When it comes to COVID-19 coronavirus there are so many narratives about this deadly pandemic. From it being “man-made” or “media-hyped,” to it not impacting Black people at all, the misinformation surrounding it is at an all-time high. Our goal from the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement is to be a trustworthy source to Black men and boys in Philadelphia by providing the most accurate and relevant updates for our community.  Read more.

Flushing Wipes Could Cost You, Damage Infrastructure

The COVID-19 emergency has resulted in an especially dramatic increase in flushed wipes—and an increased potential for clogged pipes and damaged infrastructure. “We understand people want to be safe and are using more wipes these days but flushing any wipe or any material other than toilet paper can cause serious issues in homes and at our plants,” says Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman. Read more.
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