November 18, 2020
Conference office staff to work from home starting Nov. 23
Decision follows new COVID-19 safety restrictions 

By John W. Coleman

“We have made the decision to move again into a period of lockdown for the Conference Office,” announced Jo Fielding, Eastern PA Conference Director of Administrative Services. 

Administrative staff had returned to the office on partial-week schedules in July after about three months of closure and working from home, as the deadly COVID-19 pandemic raged across our region. Meetings and non-staff visits have been curtailed since that time to limit building occupancy.

But after prayer and consultation with Bishop Peggy Johnson and other colleagues, Fielding, who also is Executive Director of the Benefits Board, made the announcement Monday, Nov. 16, to resume the lockdown. Fielding told Conference Office staff to “gather the files you will need to work from home beginning on Monday, Nov. 23, and continuing through the end of the year.”  

“All our staff are equipped to work from home because of the last lockdown,” explained Fielding. “All schools have gone back to virtual learning in Montgomery County. Cases of COVID are continuing to rise, and we want to keep our staff safe. We are probably being extra cautious; but we felt that since we can take this step without major disruption, we should do so at this time.”

Accounting office staff will be in the building on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to handle essential onsite fiscal operations. And part-time clerical staff can continue to work there also on those days. Other staff are asked to work from home and only come to the office when necessary.

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia announce new safety restrictions. Bishop responds with letter.
Honduras, Nicaragua devastated by two hurricanes. UMCOR responds
Honduras and Nicaragua are getting a double dose of disaster after two back to back hurricanes tore through the two Central American nations, causing destruction, many deaths and massive evacuations.

Iota, became a Category 5 hurricane and the 13th of the Atlantic season Monday, devastating both countries with dangerous winds and torrential rains on the heels of Category 4 Hurricane Eta just two weeks before. Both governments evacuated people along their shared border. Learn more...