April 30, 2020
Welcome to Resource Roundup, COVID-19 edition

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.
From Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: What Would Love Do?
"In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are now at another one of those threshold moments when important and significant decisions must be made on all levels of our global community for the good and the well-being of the entire human family. In this moment, I would ask you to allow me to share with you a Word to the Church: What Would Love Do?" Video and text (in English, Spanish and French) are here.
News
Clients line up at the food bank at St. Paul’s Commons on a chilly day in March. In recent days the program, run by St. Athanasius’ Church, has seen an increase in traffic and a decrease in supplies as the COVID-19 quarantine continues. Photos: Bob Williams
Feeding the hungry in the age of COVID-19: demand way up, supply way down

By Pat McCaughan

[The Episcopal News - April 30, 2020] Since COVID-19, people are showing up earlier and the line has doubled on Friday mornings at the St. Athanasius’ food pantry in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. “But the regional food bank has decreased the amount of food they are giving us,” said the Rev. Canon Frank Alton, St. Paul’s Commons provost.

“The worst thing is, they’ve cut back on staples like rice and beans, which are the most useful for low-income families because it’s something they can make in abundance. It’s nutritious and culturally appropriate.”

As the coronavirus forces more Angelenos into unemployment, many diocesan feeding ministries say they are increasingly facing two challenging realities—a growing need and a dwindling food supply.

Read more here.
Institutions
Credit Unions for Economic Justice

By Jennifer Miramontes

[Vestry Papers - March 2020] “Banking” might not be among first things that come to mind when you think of how best to serve your community, but perhaps it should. After all, nearly everyone with whom you share a pew, (the rest of the world, too) requires the services of a financial institution. We all need bank accounts, debit cards, auto loans, online bill pay and financial literacy guidance, don’t we?

Founded in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King Riots, the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union received its federal charter in 1994 with the support of many volunteers from parishes around the diocese. This effort was spearheaded by the bishops and clergy of the Episcopal Diocese in Los Angeles and Dr. Gloria Brown, an employee of the Episcopal Church (TEC) at that time.

As a faith-based credit union, located at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, we serve a low- and moderate-income community that believes in the principle of service to others and investing responsibly in its communities. This philosophy follows the credit union principle where members pool their savings to make loans to one another and are shareholders of the institution where they save, borrow and obtain financial services. John H. Taylor, Bishop of Los Angeles, notes, “We can all tell from the media and politics that our society isn’t yet an equal-opportunity distributor of economic opportunity. Our credit union began and persists as a ministry of economic justice, enabling individuals and institutions to lay hands on some vital capital to leverage a better future when other lenders pass them by.” Read more here.

Jennifer Miramontes is a member of the board of directors of the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union and a parishioner at St. John Chrysostom Church in Rancho Santa Margarita. She is director of e-learning for Total CSR, a practical e-learning insurance training company. Vestry Papers is a publication from Episcopal Church Foundation's Vital Practices.
Events
All welcome for Neighborhood Youth Association stay-at-home scholarship benefit May 9

Zoom in to the 37th Annual Scholarship Benefit, a stay-at-home celebration to be hosted Saturday, May 9, at 6 p.m. by the Neighborhood Youth Association, a diocesan institution since 1906 specializing in 100-percent college-placement for students from low-income families.

Highlights of the 40-minute benefit will include electronically conferring scholarship awards totaling more than $62,500 raised largely by parish and individual gifts from St. Matthew’s, Pacific Palisades; St. Bede’s, Mar Vista; and St. Augustine by-the-Sea, Santa Monica together with other donors.

Zoom participants will be invited to share in making online gifts to support NYA’s operating budget, a key focus of the annual benefit typically held at St. Matthew’s Sprague Center, but held digitally this year given COVID-19 social-distancing requirements.

Bishop John Harvey Taylor, chairman of NYA’s board of trustees, will welcome Zoom participants and offer the invocation. Benefit chairperson, Sarah Mann Newman, NYA trustee and parishioner of St. Matthew’s, will bring greetings and join NYA Site Director Sonia Hernandez in conferring the awards. Trustee Marisol Barrios and NYA alumnus Kevin Mateo will co-host the program.

The event will reveal new online videos and student statements of resilience in overcoming adversity, reflecting the benefit theme “Moving Together Towards a Bright Future” and launching a week-long online drive for contributions to NYA’s operating fund.

Zoom invitation is here; for further information, email Canon Robert Williams, president of NYA’s board of trustees, at rwilliams@nyayouth.org or rwilliams@ladiocese.org.
Celebrities to enliven Campbell Hall online fundraiser
Campbell Hall, the Episcopal school in North Hollywood/Studio City, will hold an online fundraiser, "CH Cares," on Friday, May 1, 8 - 9:30 p.m. Headmaster Julian Bull and actor Julie Bowen ( Modern Family, Dawson's Creek) will host. The evening will feature special appearances by singer Kelly Clarkson ("A Moment Like This," "Since U Been Gone"), actor Tim Allen ( Toy Story, Home Improvement, The Santa Clause) and actor-comedian Ray Romano ( Everybody Loves Raymond, Parenthood). The event also will feature an opportunity drawing and online auction. Register to virtually attend, buy tickets or make auction bids here.
Webinar series from Episcopal Relief & Development continues with session on immigration
[Episcopal Relief & Development] "You're invited to join us for upcoming webinars during which we will dive deep into topics surrounding COVID-19. If you have a passion for ministering to vulnerable groups, be sure to tune in on Fridays as we discuss the impact of this pandemic on each of us, as well as the people we serve. The standing date and time will be Fridays at 3 p.m. EDT/ (12 p.m. PDT). This week we are discussing the impact of COVID-19 on immigrants, migrant workers and undocumented communities." Register here. The webinars will be recorded and posted online here.
Resources
The Important Role of Faith-based Organizations in the Context of COVID-19

By Kathryn P. Derose and Michael A. Mata

[The Health Care Blog - April 16] "Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing our communities of faith. For centuries if not longer, religious congregations have played critical roles in providing and supporting social services within communities. There are over 345,000 religious congregations in the US of various faiths and denominations and, despite declining rates of religious affiliation and attendance, national surveys still find a sizeable proportion – about 45% – of all adults report attending religious services at least monthly. Religious congregations play even more important roles in particular subgroups, such as low-income communities and among certain racial-ethnic minority groups and immigrants, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups, making faith-based organizations critical to the COVID-19 response in the short and long terms." Read more here.

The Rev. Kathryn P. Derose is a deacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, senior policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation, and a professor of health policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Michael A. Mata is senior consultant with Freedom Road LLC, a pastor in the Nazarene Church, and practitioner in residence at Pardee RAND Graduate School. H/t the Rev. Joanne Leslie.
IRIS offers free virtual immigration legal services for DACA, naturalization and more

Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS), a Department of Justice recognized and accredited immigration legal service office, has received funding to assist with immigration matters including DACA, naturalization and more. Potential clients may contact IRIS at 323.667.0489, ext. 100, or iris@ladiocese.org to schedule a virtual appointment with one of its legal representatives.

To "Dreamers," Meghan Taylor, IRIS executive director, writes, "As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, now is the time to renew your DACA (even if your current DACA is not nearing its expiration date). For a limited time, IRIS is able to cover the cost of the $495 Department of Homeland Security DACA filing fee. Funds will go quickly and are provided on a first-come first-serve basis."

To other church members, Taylor writes, "You can support the Episcopal Church’s advocacy efforts on this program by sending letters to your members of Congress through the Episcopal Public Policy Network’s Action Alert."
Free food resources for LA County residents during COVID-19 Crisis - and ways to help

[Los Angeles County - April 21, 2020) An estimated two million people in Los Angeles County suffer from food-insecurity issues on an ongoing basis. That vulnerable community is sure to swell because of pandemic-related economic losses in the months to come, but Los Angeles County is committed to preventing hunger and ensuring access to food for all residents. The County is currently mobilizing a countywide response to hunger by coordinating public agencies, nonprofits, and volunteers to provide meals to anyone in need during the weeks and months to come. The County is also launching new digital resources to help members of the public access food at no cost — including program sign-up information, maps, and frequently asked questions — all located on the County COVID-19 website. Read more here.
Emergency grant program offers funds for Episcopal Church deacons

The Fund for the Diaconate of the Episcopal Church has created a special Emergency Grant Program to aid deacons affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Grants will cover the time-period of March 1 - Sept. 30, 2020, with applications accepted until Oct. 15, 2020. Grants of $525 per month will be made for a three month time-period, with each grant reviewed monthly. Complete details, including FAQs and an application, are here.
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.
Our Saviour Center continues food bank, needs donations
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Our Saviour Center food bank remains open to provide meals across Los Angeles County. That means healthy foods and shelf stable items are provided to the center's neighbors who need it most.
The food bank depends on donations to keep the food bank operating. To support the agency, donate here. Our Saviour Center is a ministry of Our Saviour Episcopal Church in San Gabriel and Immanuel Episcopal Church in El Monte. Photo: Our Saviour Center food bank volunteers distribute groceries for Thanksgiving in November 2019.
Priests, deacons enlisted to pray ‘last rites’ by phone for dying coronavirus patients
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal priests and deacons have volunteered to minister by phone to people dying of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which has infected more than a million people worldwide. The phone ministry is called “Dial-a-Priest” and was created in a matter of days by the TryTank Experimental Lab, a joint project of Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary. “What we’re doing is a pastoral response to a need, which is that there are people who are dying and we know we have words of comfort,” said the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, TryTank’s director. He began working on “Dial-a-Priest” about a week ago as an imperfect solution to an unprecedented challenge posed by the coronavirus. Read more here.
Housing needed for detainees: can your congregation help?
An appeal from CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice)
Right now immigrants are facing grave danger in detention centers in light of the Coronavirus. At this very moment there is a strong push to help get released detainees who are vulnerable, those with pre-existing medical conditions or the elderly. Lawyers have recently obtained humanitarian parole for a handful of detainees. Some have returned to their families and others desperately need shelter or transportation to their families in
other states. Others would be able to be released with ankle bracelets and monitored if they had an address. The faith community could be able to provide short and long-term shelter. If you have one small room or space in a church building available that we could use for housing one individual. Since most churches are not having current physical gatherings right now, opening up just one space will be ideal to help provide housing for a brother or sister currently detained in those horrible detention centers. Please let us know if you are interested in exploring the possibility by reaching out to Guillermo Torres at gtorres@cluejustice.org, 323.228.2753.
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. 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. (Bell reports that the cards and notes he has shared have been gratefully received by hospital staff — and that a simple note of thanks can have a profound effect on hard-working healthcare workers.)
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
General Convention task force seeks information on the theologies of money present within the church
All practicing Episcopalians invited to participate in survey: Responses requested by June 1

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs - April 22] The Task Force on Theology of Money is listening to the theologies of money present within The Episcopal Church as part of the work assigned by the 2018 General Convention. The task force seeks to understand how Episcopalians’ Christian faith is expressed in, or is not expressed in, or is held in tension with, individuals’ relationships with money through the short survey in English, Spanish and French. The task force would like to hear from the full breadth of experience and expertise in The Episcopal Church the diverse ways theology of money is formed and articulated. More information and links here.
CDSP announces major new affordability initiative

The Very Rev. W. Mark Richardson, president and dean of Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), announced on April 13 a major overhaul of the Episcopal seminary’s financial aid offerings. The changes are aimed at helping students who are preparing for ordination with a bishop’s approval to avoid incurring additional educational debt during their studies. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, CDSP will provide full-tuition scholarships to all qualifying new and returning students, and residential students will receive a meal plan and free housing (dorm or apartment according to family need and availability). Read more here.
Deadline extended for Episcopal Church’s 2020-2021 academic year scholarships
Applications due May 29, 2020

The deadline has been extended for educational scholarships from The Episcopal Church for the 2020-2021 academic year. A scholarship applicant must be an Episcopalian and must have the endorsement of his/her bishop. The scholarships are derived from annual income of designated trust funds established by generous donors through bequests to The Episcopal Church. The scholarships assist:
  • Students enrolled in theological education and training.
  • Children of missionaries, bishops and clergy,
  • Students of various racial and ethnic minorities, and other groups covering a wide range of eligibility.
Read more here.
The Way of Love calendar for the Easter Season 2020

A calendar for the 50 days of Easter, with suggestions for each day, is based on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s “Way of Love” commandments: Turn, Learn, Prayer, Worship, Bless and Go. A high-resolution PDF version is here. The calendar was created by Sue Van Oss of St. Paul’s Church, Duluth, Minnesota, and is shared here with permission.
Updated Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs now available in Spanish

[April 16, 2020] Episcopal Church Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer N. Kurt Barnes has announced that the online publication of the latest version of the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs is now available in Spanish. The Canons of The Episcopal Church set forth the general responsibility and accountability for the stewardship of the Church’s money and property. Title I, Canon 7 specifically addresses the business methods prescribed for every diocese, parish, mission, and institution subject to the authority of the Episcopal Church. Read more here

Manual de métodos comerciales en asuntos de la Iglesia actualizado ya disponible en español
El Tesorero y Director Financiero de la Iglesia Episcopal, N. Kurt Barnes, se complace en anunciar la publicación en línea de la última versión del Manual de métodos comerciales en asuntos de la Iglesia ya está disponible en español. Los Cánones de la Iglesia Episcopal establecen la responsabilidad general y el rendimiento de cuentas sobre la administración del dinero y las propiedades de la Iglesia. El Título I, Canon 7 aborda específicamente los métodos de negocios prescritos para cada diócesis, parroquia, misión e institución sujeta a la autoridad de la Iglesia Episcopal. Leer más aquí
REMINDERS
U.S. government resources are available for families

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in post on its Facebook page has suggested some federal resources for families experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury is providing stimulus packages to people across the country. Read more here.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has advice to help you manage your family's finances. Read more here.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture has resources available for farmers & ranchers. Read more here.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration is offering small businesses low-interest disaster loans and other COVID-related funding options. Read more here.
  • The Social Security Administration can answer questions about receiving your benefits during this period. Read more here.

The FEMA notice is here. h/t Ken Higginbotham of St. Stephen's Church, Santa Clarita.
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.)
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.
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.
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. Read more 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, usually an occasional release for clergy, wardens, church office staff and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, is now published twice weekly in place of the Episcopal News Update. Items for inclusion may be forwarded to news@ladiocese.org.