Your monthly update on resources and events to support the well-being of people in your congregation and community.
May 2020
It’s rough out there. It’s OK to pamper yourself.
As COVID-19 continues to spread and news of the virus provides a daily, ever-present source of stress, it’s important to remember that someday this outbreak will end.

This is a brand-new challenge for almost everyone whether you’re working the front lines in health care worker, keeping grocery store shelves stocked or working from home to try to keep others safe.
But Rev. Kevin Massey, Advocate Aurora Health’s vice president of mission and spiritual care, sees some similarities between how people are feeling now and how they felt after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In the aftermath, he  worked as a chaplain at Ground Zero  in New York City.

“These days are very similar to those,”  Massey told WGN radio . “At that time, we felt uncertain about what was next. We feel that now, too. We were afraid and anxious. We feel that now too.” Read more .
May is Older Americans Month
This year’s Older Americans Month theme, Make Your Mark , highlights older adults’ unique and lasting contributions to their communities—everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. 

Share this Older Americans Month bulletin insert and worship slide with your faith community:

  • Bulletin inserts on many other topics are available in our archive 
Resources for Caregivers and Older Adults
Family Caregiver Alliance: COVID-19 Resources and Articles for Family Caregivers covers topics including in-home care, food and grocery delivery and caregiver self-care.

Alzheimer’s Association: COVID-19 Tips for Dementia Caregivers, divided into tips for caregivers at home and tips for caregivers of those in assisted living.

Alzheimer’s Association Helpline 800.272.3900. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, referrals to local programs and services, and crisis support.

Family Caregiver Alliance: Relaxation for Caregivers video series .

Well-Med Charitable Foundation: Caregiver Teleconnection . One-hour free caregiver support group calls on a variety of topics.

Mather Telephone Topics: A variety of free classes, groups, and performances via phone.
TimeSlips Creativity Center : Ideas and prompts for creative engagement at home.

Well-Connected : A wide variety of free classes and groups for adults age 60+, available via phone or web. 
Aurora Health Care Visitation Policy
No-Visitor policy update: End-of-life situations 
We continue to update our policies to keep our team members and patients safe. As such, we have made the difficult decision to limit end-of-life situations to one designated individual.

We are encouraging the use of virtual visits and virtual vigils through  Zoom video conferencing to help families connect safely with their loved ones during this difficult time. Call your hospital site and ask for the chaplain on call to arrange or learn more about virtual visits and virtual vigils.

Exceptions to the no-visitor policy include:

  • One pediatric caregiver
  • One companion of laboring mother and, if applicable, one certified doula (trained professional who provides support during labor)
  • One visitor for end-of-life situations, with family virtual visits/vigils encouraged as an alternative
  • One Outpatient-area companion
  • One companion for in-person discharge instructions
  • One professional assigned to assist with procedures

At this time clergy are not able to visit congregants except in exceptional situations such as end of life. In these cases, faith leaders should contact the chaplain for further instructions before coming to the hospital. Call the main switchboard at the hospital and ask to speak to the chaplain on-call.

Please know that, while visitation policies have changed, Aurora Health Care remains committed to honoring spiritual practices of those who are hospitalized. Faith leaders and family members can send cherished religious items, such as a Bible, Holy Water, Quran, etc., as well as electronic devices.  Learn more about sending critical items to inpatients.

See additional details about visitation here.
COVID-19 Flyers for Your Community
Advocate Aurora Health has created COVID-19 educational flyers that faith leaders can distribute throughout their communities:

Other COVID-19 Resources
The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Continue to check the CDC website for up-to-date information and guidance.

  • See a list of COVID-19 resources specifically for faith communities, compiled by the Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation (a joint initiative of Advocate Aurora Health and the Office for Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships at the University of Illinois at Chicago). We have recently updated the resource list to include information on conducting funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Our online COVID-19 Symptom Checker is the best way for patients to find the care they need. By answering a few simple questions, they’ll quickly learn what they need to do next – from seeing a provider with a video visit – 24/7 – to contacting their doctor. The symptom checker is now also available in Spanish. Thus far, we have had more than 65,000 people utilize this tool to determine if they needed to seek care.

  • The COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-4-HEALTH is staffed by clinicians who can answer questions about symptoms and determine the next steps in care.

  • Our Virtual Health platform, LiveWell app, continues to offer virtual appointments with physicians 24-hours a day. Those who have or suspect they may have COVID-19 symptoms can do a virtual visit. 

If you would like to submit a resource, please click here .

If you would like to start receiving Advocate Aurora Faith and Health Partnerships weekly COVID-19 e-bulletin, please click here .
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 11:00 a.m.-noon
The outbreak of COVID-19 has placed overwhelming stress on people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and provoke strong emotions in adults and children. Even those without mental health diagnoses are experiencing challenges. This webinar will help you understand what research tells us may be coming, the perspective of mental health professionals in this moment, and what faith leaders are preparing to address.

April 29, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Join this free webinar to learn and identify the effects of domestic violence in children. We will review the signs of child abuse and how we, as a community can advocate, educate, and prevent the cycle of child abuse. Additionally, we will discuss how COVID-19 has affected children.

April 29, noon-1:30 p.m.
Gain knowledge of the historical role of the church related to SDOH and their impact on spiritual care.
Acknowledge a greater understanding of health ministry and how it supports and grows current work being done by the local church along with impact on individual(s) health and wellbeing. Acknowledge inspiration to re-think SDOH and how the learner/church has ability to improve SDOH outcomes in their ministry.

April 30, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Join this free Webinar to learn and identify the effects of domestic violence in adults and children. We will review how to identify domestic violence and how we, as a community can advocate, educate, and prevent the cycle of abuse. Additionally, we will discuss how COVID-19 has affected domestic violence.

April 30, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Join the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s (Action Alliance) Faith Communities Task Force. Hear from a distinguished and diverse group of faith leaders to learn about how they are using technology to strengthen connectedness and support virtually. Connect with each other to share personal experiences and ideas for holding online religious services, convening groups virtually, and providing support to those who are struggling.

April 30, time of your choosing
Want to be inspired and equipped for a vision of how to love and care for others during COVID-19? Join us for a FREE Online Summit on how to address spiritual and emotional needs in our churches and communities. Registrants will hear from dynamic speakers, receive free tools, and learn about other catalytic initiatives designed to activate and support your church (and you as a leader) in providing spiritual, physical, and emotional care in response to COVID-19.

May 1, noon-2:00 p.m.
Join CYN Counseling Center for an interactive webinar on how the COVID 19 virus is affecting each and every one of us and the possible impact on our mental health. Discuss tips for coping, resources and thoughts on when to seek help.

May 7, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
May 8, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Join the ESSDACK Resilience Team and hundreds of others virtually on May 7 - 8, 2020 to share strategies and resources for building collaborative and resilient communities to heal trauma and solve poverty. Your registration provides access to a full day of learning, split into two half days with keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and guided conversations.

May 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Guest Speaker: Brad Bloom, founder and publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine and Shout! Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine. He is president of Lifestyle Media Group, a ministry that develops content to help people to live life physically and spiritually fit.
Recorded Webinars
A digital summit for churches and church leaders responding to COVID-19 presented by the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College and National Association of Evangelicals. All on-demand videos may now be viewed and shared.

Caring for the Caregiver Town Hall . This Chaplaincy Innovation Lab town hall featured a panel of chaplaincy leaders and educators.

Thriving in Challenging Times: Crisis Response Training for Faith Community Leaders, led by Rev. Kevin Massey, System Vice President, Mission and Spiritual Care and Spiritual Care Leadership, Advocate Aurora Health Care.

In times of distress and uncertainty, people look to their faith community leaders for support and guidance. Psychological First Aid (PFA) training equips faith community leaders to provide basic immediate emotional support to people in distress and anxiety. This approximately 20-minute video equips faith community leaders with the basics of PFA and shares information about further training.

The Global Coronavirus Crisis: Steering Ourselves and our Clients Through New and Developing Traumas Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps The Score, shares timely approaches for those in the helping professions.

Trauma-Informed Care is Wraparound Care in Communities of Faith. Trauma-Informed Care is an approach to addressing experiences of early adversity that emphasizes compassion and incorporates the belief that every person has intrinsic value and should be treated with dignity. It also promotes the understanding that negative behaviors may be typical responses to past traumatic experiences. A slide deck is available for download  here.
Save the Date: September 21
September 21, Keeping Faith: Empowering Faith Communities to Recognize and Respond to Child Abuse

Madison Christian Community is pleased to announce an important training, Keeping Faith: Empowering Faith Communities to Recognize and Respond to Child Abuse, on September 21. This interfaith training is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ and endorsed by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

This is an interfaith workshop with Victor Vieth of the Zero Abuse Project in Minnesota and Honorable Rev. Everett Mitchell, Dane County Circuit Judge and Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church. Learn more .
Other Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Please note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please check ahead of time to see if events are cancelled or postponed.
Through June
The Church's Response to Mental Illness
Wisconsin and Minnesota locations
This online course is designed to help local congregations develop a faithful and loving response to those living with mental illness. It will include coverage of important mental health terms and concepts, exploration of resource availability, and theological reflection on the realities faced by people and families facing mental health struggles. Learn more.

Other Opportunities

  • Companions in Ministry Program
  • Contemplative Renewal Welcomes Applications
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Come Alive! Program for a More Abundant Spiritual and Physical Life
  • See details on these events here.
Health and Wellness Resources
Faith & Gun Violence Study-Action Guide
“Who is My Neighbor: Multi-Generational Conversations on Faith & Gun Violence”

Created by the Wisconsin Council of Churches, this free study-action guide includes worship-planning guides, discussion guides, reflections, video testimony by youth, resources and action steps. Download the guide here.

  • Find a Behavioral Health Specialist
  • Services and Treatment
  • Programs for Adults, Children and Adolescents
  • And More!

  • Weight Management Programs
  • Integrative Health Coaching
  • National and Local Resources
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers
  • And More!

Stroke Risk Assessment
Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, and many of the risk factors are controllable. Take Advocate Aurora Health’s online  Stroke Risk Assessment  to estimate your chance of experiencing one and learn about the ways you could minimize it.

If you are interested in starting a health ministry or health council in your congregation, contact Kirsten Peachey , Director of Faith and Health Partnerships for Advocate Aurora Health . She'd love to talk with you about getting started.

Advocate Aurora Health eNews Service
Get daily articles on a host of health topics that come to you via email. Subscribe to our  Health eNews service
Ramadan Kareem!

We would like to wish all our Muslim friends a blessed and peaceful Ramadan. May this holy month bring you great joy as you spend time with your family, give to those in need and become closer to God.

To help you nourish your spiritual selves during this COVID-19 Ramadan, the Family and Youth Institute has prepared a Ramadan Toolkit with practical tips.

May Allah bless you with happiness and grace your home with warmth and peace.
May Holidays and Observances

1 - Beltane - Samhain - Wicca/Pagan
2 - Last day of Ridvan - Baha'i
3 - Saints Philip & James - Christianity
7 - Visakha Puja - Buddha Day - Buddhism
National Day of Prayer USA - Interfaith
21 - Ascension of Jesus - Christian
23 - Declaration of the Bab - Baha'i
29 - Ascension of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i
Ascension of Jesus - Orthodox Christian
29-30 - Shavuot - Jewish
31 - Pentecost – Christian
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