April 2, 2020
Welcome to Resource Roundup, COVID-19 edition

How are you and your congregation adapting to these unprecedented times of shutdown, sequestration and what Bishop John Harvey Taylor calls #holydistancing? How will your congregation observe Holy Week and Easter? Please email your innovative ideas and your stories of how you are carrying out your ministry to news@ladiocese.org.

More resources
The COVID-19 page on the Diocese of Los Angeles website includes many ideas and resources, as well as links to communications from the bishops' office and past issues of Resource Roundup. Click here.
News
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: On Our Theology of Worship

In a letter to The Episcopal Church on March 31, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry writes that he has issued a theological reflection — included in the letter — about how the Anglican way of worship gives guidance to the church in the time of COVID-19.

“While not exclusively the case," Curry wrote "online worship may be better suited to ways of praying represented by the forms of the Daily Office than by the physical and material dimensions required by the Eucharist. And under our present circumstances, in making greater use of the Office there may be an opportunity to recover aspects of our tradition that point to the sacramentality of the scriptures, the efficacy of prayer itself, the holiness of the household as the ‘domestic church,’ and the reassurance that the baptized are already and forever marked as Christ’s own.”

Read the presiding bishop's letter and reflection here.
Recording of April 1 webinar on CARES Act is available online

Thank you to all who participated in yesterday’s ZOOM conversation with Jeff Baker, a vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Los Angeles, concerning the CARES Act recently passed by Congress in reaction to the COVID-19 emergency and how congregations and institutions may apply for assistance. For any who missed the presentation, it may be accessed here or via the diocesan website (coronavirus resource page).

Bishop John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce and Canon to the Ordinary Melissa McCarthy sent an email letter to clergy and lay leaders on March 31 with information about the CARES act. It includes links to a memo of additional information provided by Baker. The letter (in English and Spanish) is here. The memo in English is here, and in Spanish here.
Template available for Paycheck Protection Program calculations

Congregations seeking to calculate average monthly payroll for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are requested to the template available here. Questions may be referred to the Rev. Michele Racusin, diocesan CFO, at mracusin@ladiocese.org.
Stories of ministry
How is your congregation, organization or institution carrying out ministry in this time of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders? Send a brief account of your church's work to news@ladiocese.org.
Julia Warren, junior warden at St. Mark’s Church, Upland, prepares for a virtual Easter egg hunt via Zoom.
Church in the age of COVID-19: A cyberspace Holy Week

By Pat McCaughan

[The Episcopal News - April 2] Palm Sunday usually jumpstarts Holy Week, with Episcopalians celebrating outside churches, waving palm branches that have been blessed, marching in procession, proclaiming “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” and singing All Glory, Laud and Honor.

However, this Palm Sunday, April 5 — in the age of COVID-19, self-quarantines, stay-at-home orders and shuttered churches — diocesan clergy and congregations will remain outside their buildings through Easter and beyond. But the celebrations will go on.

Southland clergy and congregations are wrestling with ways to lead cyberspace worship during the church’s holiest season. Some are excitedly ramping up for a range of creative possibilities, from an at-home Palm Sunday parade to even hosting a Zoom Easter egg hunt.

Read more here. Second of two stories: read the first, "Church in the age of COVID-19: Learning to Zoom," here.
Hands of Grace carries on!

By Barbara Kimler

Despite the closure of our treasured sanctuary and fellowship hall, Hands of Grace is still going strong at Faith Episcopal Church in Laguna Niguel. On recent Wednesday night, team members from St. George’s Episcopal Church (Laguna Hills) served to-go meals to 14 grateful guests. A St. George’s parishioner provided McDonalds gift cards and a friend of Faith prepared bags of toiletries.

Provisions are given out in front of Faith Church and safe distancing is practiced. So far, all of our Hands of Grace teams are continuing to serve this vulnerable community during the Covid-19 crisis.

The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed. —Proverbs 19.17
Theological corner
Reaping the Whirlwind

By Walter Brueggemann

[Journal for Preachers] The lingering impact of the virus has summoned our best science to respond to human emergency. That lingering impact has also invited fresh theological consideration. In what follows I will explore some complex interpretive options in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the “plague” that in some way or another, in biblical horizon, is inflected by the reality of God. It is possible to trace out in the Old Testament at least three (maybe more!) interpretive options for such a God-linked reality of the plague.

Read more here. Walter Brueggemann is an influential theologian and Old Testament scholar, and an important figure in modern progressive Christianity.
Spiritual communion in a season of social distancing

By Ruth A. Meyers

[Church Divinity School of the Pacific] In this time of social distancing, when we cannot come together to celebrate the eucharist, church leaders are introducing creative responses such as packing plastic bags with consecrated wafers for people to drive up and take home, or suggestions that people in disparate places provide their own bread and wine as a presider in another space prays a eucharistic prayer. Such efforts suggest hunger for the body and blood of Christ.

Read more here. The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D., is dean of academic affairs and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at CDSP.
Resources and ideas
ECW offers grants for medical bills through online application

The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) in the Diocese of Los Angeles offers grants of up to $500 to help cover medical bills and even medical insurance payments to people in need. A form can be filled out online by the applicant's rector or vicar. To apply, click here. Funds are issued to the priest’s discretionary fund and then distributed to the applicant.
Misinformation, disinformation, fake news: Why do we care?

[Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations - April 2] In addition to concrete tips on how to identify and limit the spread of misinformation, this resource offers an overview of the misinformation landscape, the structure of disinformation campaigns, and the use of misinformation in elections. Read more here.
Introduction to Religion and Public Health

A program from the TRAIN Learning Network

Powered by the Public Health Foundation (PHF), the TRAIN Learning Network brings together agencies and organizations in the public health, healthcare, and preparedness sectors to disseminate, track, and share trainings for the health workforce on a centralized training platform. Most of their training programs are open to all, and offered without cost. This curricula is approved by the National Board of Public Health Examiners for Certified Public Health (CPHCE)credit. (Users must create a TRAIN account before accessing the materials.)

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand how worldview impacts cultural distance
  2. Understand that a majority of people have strong super-natural beliefs that can be used to change risky behaviors
  3. Describe the basic beliefs of naturalism, monotheism, tribal cultures, monism, and traditional Chinese cultures
  4. Understand the benefits and challenges of the concept of primary prevention with different cultural worldviews
  5. Review a few examples of how religiosity impacts healthy behaviors
  6. Review key results of a SWOT survey of faith-based leaders
  7. Describe the importance of horizontal communicators
  8. Discuss the importance of addressing perceived needs in faith-based engagement
  9. Discuss the importance of first dealing with spiritual fatalism before engagement
  10. Review leadership skills for faith-based engagement

Read more here.
Reflections on Stations of the Cross
Reflexiones sobre el Vía Crucis

From Episcopal Migration Ministries

In text and video form, featuring the liturgy of the Way of the Cross from the Book of Occasional Services, alongside meditations on each station.

English:

Booklet (5.5" x 8.5") Booklet (8.5" x 11")


Spanish:

Folleto (8.5” x 11”)

Podcast: Este podcast está disponible en SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify y Stitcher.

h/t Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce
An act of spiritual communion

"The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that if one is unable to actually consume the consecrated bread and wine due to extreme sickness or disability, the desire is enough for God to grant all the benefits of communion (BCP, p. 457). When being present at a celebration of the Eucharist is absolutely impossible, this act of prayer and meditation can provide the means by which you can associate yourself with the Eucharistic Action and open yourself to God’s grace and blessing." A PDF leaflet with prayers for spiritual communion is here. Adapted from St. Augustine's Prayer Book, published by Forward Movement.
Palm Frond coloring page: Get ready for Palm Sunday

From Illustrated Ministry

Churches are turning to Facebook Live, Zoom, and other video-conferencing platforms to find ways to bring worship from the homes of pastors into the homes of their congregations. For many, it will be difficult not to be able to be together during this season. Illustrated Ministry is trying to do as much as we can to help support churches and families through this difficult time. Read more here. h/t Bishop John Harvey Taylor
Maundy Thursday at home

By Wendy Claire Barrie

On this day, Thursday in Holy Week, we remember the last supper Jesus shared with his disciples, which may or may not have been a Passover meal. Only John’s gospel, however, tells how, after dinner, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, guys who wore sandals on unpaved dirt roads all the time, whose feet must have been filthy. This was a servant’s work, and Jesus gave his friends a new commandment (“mandatum” in Latin): Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34). For this reason we churchy people do a strange thing: we wash one another’s feet. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, and I know lots of people who get pedicures first. It’s humbling and touching, too. This year, we won’t be doing this in our churches, but it’s simple enough to do at home. Read more here. (h/t Holy Faith Church, Inglewood)
Holy Week resources for families

From Church Publishing Inc.

A selection of activities to download and complete every day from Palm Sunday through Easter. The activities are curated from various Church Publishing resources, all available online here. The Holy Week Resources booklet is here. (h/t St. Mark's Church, Upland)
The Daily St. James COVIDeo: homemade hand sanitizer

Lynne Ramsey, St. James' Church, Newport Beach, Stewardship team leader, shares her recipe for homemade hand sanitizer in a video found here on YouTube — and makes a plug for getting pledges in to the church on time. Ramsey's video is one of a series being produced by St. James during the COVID-19 shutdown. Other videos share worship, music, projects for children and "19 Things You Can Do" while sheltering in place, featuring the Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees, vicar of St. James' Church.
Statement on anti-Asian racism in the time of COVID-19

From the Asian American Christian Collaborative

"We, the undersigned, join together as Asian American Christians and community leaders to denounce the current rise in overt anti-Asian racism throughout our country. We call for an immediate end to the xenophobic rhetoric, hate crimes, and violence against our people and communities. We invite all Americans to join us in combating these contagions and work with us for the welfare of all.

"In the last two weeks of March 2020, Asian Americans have reported nearly 1,000 incidents of racism, and without mitigation, we expect that number to rise in the weeks ahead. Many of these were violent attacks against life and human dignity, and many more incidents have gone unreported. Furthermore, despite international consensus, public outcry, and increasing racism against Asian Americans, some of our nation’s leaders are intentionally choosing nomenclature for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), such as the “Chinese Flu,” and this is endangering the lives of more than 20 million Americans."

Read the full statement and signature list here. More about the newly formed Asian American Christian Collaborative is here. h/t the Rev. Peter Huang. (Social media hashtag #aaccstatement)
A doctor explains how to make the safest face mask

"This is a safe face mask that if built properly should be donated to your local emergency services. It utilizes a HEPA filter, which is much, much better than a cotton mask." The directions call for pipe cleaners, elastic, a HEPA vacuum bag, thread, a hot glue gun and glue, a sewing machine, and a printout of the mask template. A video with instructions is here (YouTube). Written directions are here. (h/t The Rev. Mary Crist)
Coronavirus: Massachusetts families turn to TikTok, dancing as a way to bond during COVID-19 pandemic

[masslive.com - April 1] The Rev. Jacqueline Clark challenged members of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Hingham to film their families dancing to The Fitness Marshall’s Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too” dance workout. “

She thought, 'You know what, this has really been a pretty dark time. Let’s let’s put a little light into this. Let’s add some joy to this time” said The Rev. Tim Schenck.

Read and watch more here. Schenck (pictured), whose dance moves are featured at the beginning and end of the video accompanying the story, is the creator of Lent Madness.
COVID-19 crisis: Ways to help
One Body & One Spirit Emergency Appeal

By John Harvey Taylor

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. The global health crisis has affected the life of each member of our diocesan family – each of us, and all our neighbors. You are all in my prayers daily as you continue to devote yourself to the work of the gospel. Each day, I know, you are caring for yourselves and those you love, serving your neighbor and those most at risk, and continuing to support your church family by praying, worshiping, reaching out to those who are most isolated, and remembering to send in your generous pledge. Read more here.
Mask-making ministry

The mask-making ministry at St. Stephen's Church, Hollywood, is in full swing to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. To take part in their efforts, click here. An additional resource is JoAnn's Fabrics, which is donating mask-sewing supplies and has also posted a how-to video on YouTube to support efforts all over the country. (Note: Not all hospitals accept homemade masks: for a list of facilities that do, visit the St. Stephen's mask ministry page linked above or contact the Rev. Jaime Edwards-Acton, rector, at hopeinhollywood@gmail.com.
Thank you cards for hospital staff

A request from Michael Bell, director of pastoral ministries at Good Samaritan Hospital
Church colleagues, friends with kids stuck at home, educators with classes online, leaders of other groups: If you're looking for something helpful to do right now that doesn't cost much more than time and some creative love, consider writing/creating thank-you notes, cards, pictures, banners for our hospital staff. E.g., "Thank you, Good Samaritans" - signed by you, children, students, members of your club or community. Mail to: The Rev. Michael S. Bell, Spiritual Care Services, PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital, 1225 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017
Episcopal Relief & Development's COVID-19 Response Fund

"Join us in prayer and action. Help us be there in times of uncertainty.
Your gift enables us to prepare for emergencies around the world — including the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. With your help, we can equip our partners on the ground with crucial support to assist local communities and meet the changing needs as this crisis unfolds." Click here to contribute.
From the wider Episcopal Church
Episcopalians now can give online to Good Friday Offering to support Middle East ministries

[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians in congregations across The Episcopal Church give hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to support ministries in the Middle East through the church’s annual Good Friday Offering. The Episcopal Church has launched an online donation page – the first time such an option will be available to Episcopalians who are inspired to support the important work of Anglican churches in the Middle East. Read more here.
Webinar: Asset-Based Ministry Response to COVID-19

Episcopal Relief & Development joins the Rev. Stacy Stringer and Deacon Elaine Clements on Friday, April 3, 12 p.m. (PDT) to address the ways our individual and collective gifts can meet the needs created by COVID-19. They will cover basic disaster response, how to adapt ministries and pastoral care. Join us and discover how Christ is calling each of us to address human needs. Advance registration is required: click here.
REMINDERS
Diocesan website offers resources for congregations

A page on the Diocese of Los Angeles website titled " Responding to COVID-19" lists various resources for congregations and individuals as they cope with church closures and self-isolation. It includes information under the following headings:
  • Resources for Virtual and Remote Worship and Meetings
  • State & County Resources for Addressing Coronavirus Concerns
  • CDC (Center for Disease Control) website links
  • Stewardship
  • Coping with Social Distancing
  • Children and Families
  • Additional health information
  • Recovery resources (12-step programs)
  • Managing work in a time of isolation
  • How to help
The list is updated as information becomes available. Send additional resources for consideration to news@ladiocese.org.
Credit Union will provide emergency loans to churches, institutions at reduced rate during COVID-19 crisis

[The Episcopal News - March 18] The Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union has set aside a $500,000 emergency cash fund to assist churches and other institutions of the diocese whose cash flow has been adversely impacted by circumstances caused by the Covid-19 virus pandemic. The program will offer, for a limited time, a 50% reduction to its published rate for church loans. Read more here. (Esta historia aparece en español después del texto en inglés.)
Online giving: Options to explore for use in congregations

Any congregation seeking to add an online giving feature to its website can begin by reviewing and comparing available options such as the following which are among various systems in use around the Diocese of Los Angeles and wider church. The following list is only a sampling and comes with no official endorsement by the diocese. Additions to this list are welcomed and may be forwarded to media@ladiocese.org.

Vanco — Fees are said to be reasonable and an app is available for donors to download. Interfaces with CDM database. Can be viewed in place on website of St. James’, Los Angeles.
Square (Cash App)
Givify - As used by All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Vista, Calif. (Diocese of San Diego)

Featuring Tithe.ly, EasyTithe, Givelify, PayPal, Pushpay.
Deadline extended for nominations to Episcopal Church committees, boards

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs - March 30, 2020] The Episcopal Church Joint Standing Committee on Nominations is accepting applications for nine offices. Application form and links to job descriptions are available on the General Convention website.  The deadline to submit application has been extended to April 30, 2020. Elections will be held at the 80th General Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, scheduled for June 30 – July 9, 2021. For more information, contact the Office of the General Convention at gcoffice@episcopalchurch.org. Read more (in English, Spanish and French) here.
Is your congregation live-streaming Sunday or weekday services? Let us know!

If your congregation is live-streaming services on Facebook, YouTube or other social media, please send us a note and let us know:
  • Day(s) and time of services;
  • Date if a one-time offering;
  • Type of service (Eucharist, Morning Prayer, Evensong, etc.);
  • URL for anyone wishing to log in:
  • Language(s) in which the service will be held.
  • Information about the celebrant or other participants, or about music or other aspects of worship (optional)
Send listings to news@ladiocese.org. They will be included in a list (also available on the diocese's COVID-19 Resources webpage) for the benefit of all who wish to take part in worship.

In addition, The Episcopal Church has launched a Digital Church Guide. You can upload your service information there (click here). You also can add this information to the Episcopal Asset Map (click here.) More information about both these resources is here.
Clergy: Keep count of online participants in worship

As the wider Episcopal Church determines how to determine Average Sunday Attendance numbers during the COVID-19 crisis, Bishops Taylor and Bruce and Canon McCarthy request that clergy in charge of congregations keep count of how many people are taking part via Facebook, YouTube, Zoom or other forum in worship services offered at your church. The information may be needed for parochial reports. Add the numbers to your red register with the notation LS (live-stream) to capture the history being made at this time. Please refer to the March 19 letter to clergy for more information.
Checks to the diocese

The bank used by the diocese will only accept checks made out to: “The Protestant Episcopal Church” or “Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.” Checks may no longer be made to Treasurer of the Diocese, etc. This is due to the Bank Secrecy Act and accompanying regulations ("Anti-Money Laundering rules").

P.O. Box closed

Please note that the diocesan post office box has been closed and will no longer receive mail. Please use the street address for mail addressed to offices at St. Paul's Commons (formerly The Cathedral Center): 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles 90026. Mail addressed to the post office box will be returned to sender.
Links
Resource Roundup is an occasional release for clergy, wardens, church office staff and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Items for inclusion may be forwarded to news@ladiocese.org.