July 7, 2020
News
Stewardship webinar: How to host an online fundraiser — best practices and tools

If your annual budget relies on the success of a gala, bazaar, auction, or fundraising event, fear not! There are many ways to host virtual fundraising events, gather a community for mission and purpose, and have fun. Bishop Suffragan Diane M. Jardine Bruce will host a stewardship workshop at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 11 in which Davey Gerhard of TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship) will review some of the common platforms for galas and auctions, present some best practices for successful fundraising, and answer your questions on '-thons," galas, auctions, and virtual events.

After the presentation members of the Program Group on Stewardship will be available to answer questions or for further discussion.

Simultaneous interpretation into Spanish will be available.

Please register in advance  here . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
TENS offers new tools, materials for 2020 stewardship season

Summer is when many congregations plan their fall stewardship campaigns. The coronavirus pandemic already has caused deep changes in how parishioners worship. "The next skill to face us is to learn to learn how to conduct stewardship campaigns virtually," says J. Davey Gerhard III, executive director of TENS, The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. "The usual ways that we look to create community and get out the message will be different this year. If yours is a congregation that relies on small groups or house church meetings to get members talking about their gifts, TENS has developed ways to use technology to gather meaningfully. For congregations that use announcement time for member testimonials, during virtual church, we’ll have to do these differently this year." TENS has developed materials and tools for congregations to help them do stewardship in the midst of the new reality.

The Diocese of Los Angeles is a member of TENS, so its congregations may access these materials for free. Click here, and enter the log-in information: Username is 1PETER; password is FOUR:10

This year’s materials combined with three ZOOM workshops in July and August will help church leaders navigate these new times, using technical and pastoral best practices. The workshops are:

July 25, 10 a.m. PDT
Virtual Stewardship 101 - Review virtual offering plates and answer questions about virtual best practices. Click here for reservations.

August 15 10 a.m. PDT
Creating Virtual Community for Stewardship - learn more about how to create meaningful small groups and pastoral teams virtually. Click here for reservations.

August 29, 10 a.m. PDT
How to use the TENS 2020 Materials for your Stewardship Campaign - Walk through this year's resources to maximize their usefulness. Click here for reservations.
TENS to present 'Generosity 365 Academy' event Aug. 1

"Generosity 365 Academy 'Extra,'" a free series featuring church fundraising professionals and stewardship experts, will be held on Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. (PDT). Participants will learn some best practices for fundraising in a virtual era. Registration opens on July 8; click here.

Presenters include:

  • Joe Park, CEO of Horizons Stewardship, and Lisa Greenwood, vice president for Leadership Ministries for the Texas Methodist Foundation and Executive Director of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations
  • Sidney Williams, CEO of Crossing Capital Group, pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Morristown, New Jersey, and author of Fishing Differently: Ministry Formation in the Marketplace
  • Meredith McNabb, associate director for Educational Programming for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University.
Survey on church's role in forging connections needs your voice

From the Rev. Canon Susan Russell, canon for Engagement Across Difference, Diocese of Los Angeles

One in the Spirit is a diocesan-wide initiative focused on increasing our capacity to expand relationships and deepen connections across differences in order to strengthen our shared commitment to follow Jesus. An initial step in that process is gathering data from a broad cross-section of the diocesan community on experiences with difference and the role of the church in bridging them. Please take a moment to use the link here (English) to add your voice and help with this important work. Deadline for responses is July 15.

La encuesta sobre el papel de la iglesia en forjar conexiones necesita tu voz

Del Reverendo Canon Susan Russell, canon para el compromiso a través de la diferencia, Diócesis de Los Ángeles

Uno en el Espíritu es una iniciativa a nivel diocesano enfocada en aumentar nuestra capacidad de expandir nuestras relaciones y profundizar nuestras conexiones a través de nuestras diferencias para fortalecer nuestro compromiso mutuo de seguir a Jesús. Nuestro primer paso en dicho proceso es recolectar información a una muestra representativa de la comunidad diocesana tomando en cuenta sus experiencias con respecto a la diferencia y el papel de la iglesia de servir como puente que nos conecta. Favor de tomar un momento y utilice el enlace aquí (en español) para agregar su voz y ayudarnos con este trabajo tan importante. La fecha límite para las respuestas es el 15 de julio.
Parochial report filing, FACT survey and more from The Episcopal Church

Filing of the 2019 Diocesan Report is open and available by logging into the DFMS Filing site at https://reports.dfms.org. Reports are due by September 1st. Please note a complete 2019 diocesan report includes the 2019 Audited Financial Statement along with the 2019 adopted budget.

Many of you have already logged into the filing site, but if you do not remember your login information or have problems with your login, please email dr@episcopalchurch.org.

Parochial Reports:
Filing of the 2019 Parochial Reports is officially closing as of July 31, 2020. Please remind any of your congregations who have yet to file that their reports must be completed by July 31, as no edits can be made after this date. Any reports submitted after July 31st in the form of a PDF will be accepted but not reflected online. Note that any mailed copies received after July 31st will also be marked late and not reflected online.

Please remember that you all have access to your congregations’ login information.
  • If a congregation needs its login information again, you can provide this by going to the “Parish Login Info” page on the left menu.
  • If login credentials need to be reset or you want to update their login name to an email address for them, this is also available to you.
  • If you’re interested in a quick tutorial. I am happy to schedule this with you via Zoom. The “Frequently asked Questions” webpage is also intended for diocesan administrators.

FACT Survey:
The FACT Survey is still available. Please encourage your congregations to complete the survey online. Access to the survey is available by logging into the DFMS filing site at https://reports.dfms.org and clicking “FACT 2020 Survey”. This survey provides a comprehensive view of congregations in America as well as a more complete understanding of the Episcopal Church life than is possible in the annual Parochial Report.

COVID-19 Update:
The year 2020 has been full of changes for all of us. We are aware that the Parochial Report, as it is, does not allow you to report information that is important this year. Please know that there will be changes to the report for 2020 and more details on that will be available in the fall. If you have comments or suggestions, please feel free to email them to Iris DiLeonardo at idileonardo@episcopalchurch.org.
A note to clergy and lay leaders regarding assessments

By Michele Racusin, chief financial officer, Diocese of Los Angeles

This is a friendly reminder that this year all assessment notices are emailed to congregations at the first of the month. If you are not receiving an invoice, chances are that it is not being sent where it needs to go! Please make sure that the diocesan finance office has the best email address for your invoice. You can send an update here: mracusin@ladiocese.org.

A very efficient way to remit your payment is through an ACH transfer. If you are interested in using this technology, please let us know and we will provide the necessary information to make that happen.

Also, please note that we no longer have a Post Office Box! If you are not sending an ACH transfer, mail your remittance to: Finance Office, St. Paul’s Commons, 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026.
Summary updates on the Paycheck Protection Program and use of loan funds

Jeff Baker, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Los Angeles, has provided information about the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act and the rules for its application for lenders and borrowers issued by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration. Baker's information, specifically for congregations of the diocese, may be found here.
Let’s Fight Racism Together Through Education:
Five courses on Racial Justice and Awareness

From Forward Movement's "Church Next" program

An important response to systemic racism and racial injustice is through education—educating ourselves and seeing the realities of the world beyond our singular perspective. One way you might consider starting on this journey is with the ChurchNext series on building racial justice. We made this series in partnership with Trinity Institute based on their amazing conference, "Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice." Courses are built on lectures by some of our leading teachers on the subject of race in America, and include:


Each course is $10: a $9/month subscription allows access to 398 different courses from Church Next.

Additionally, The Episcopal Church has compiled a list of resources for racial reconciliation and for responding to racist violence. We encourage you to delve into these wonderful resources, and join us as we learn and act against racial injustice and embrace our Christian responsibility to build a better and just world.

ChurchNext is a ministry of Forward Movement. Browse their full online learning library here.

h/t Bishop John Harvey Taylor
From the wider Episcopal Church
Responding to racist violence: Resources from The Episcopal Church

[The Episcopal Church] In this time of national upheaval, outrage, and fear, The Episcopal Church’s Department of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care and the Office of Government Relations have assembled resources to assist individuals, congregations and communities seeking to LEARN, PRAY and ACT. The resource document is here. Please use and share these resources, and send your own resources and stories to reconciliation@episcopalchurch.org.
Hymn Society branch issues guide to congregational singing as churches consider return to in-person worship

The Center for Congregational Song, a division of The Hymn Society, has been working for nearly a month on an ecumenical consultation led by United Methodist, Lutheran, and Episcopal liturgical scholars, medical experts, and in consultation with the CDC to create a document titled “Resuming Care-filled Worship and Sacramental Life During A Pandemic.” The full 36-page document can be found here.

Illustration: Jay Sidebotham
Nuevo Amanecer to begin monthly online meetings
Nuevo Amanecer, a conference for Latinx ministers in The Episcopal Church, met virtually in May for its biannual meeting. From July 10 to Oct. 10, Nuevo Amanecer will continue to meet monthly for additional opportunities for learning, mutual knowledge and prayer. For more information and to register for the meetings, click here.
Episcopal Relief & Development offers resources for churches

Episcopal Relief & Development offers many resources for congregations on its web page "Tools for Maintaining Community During a Pandemic," including help with creating a sense of community and holding bible study, as well as assistance with online services and other tools for ministry. Click here for English: here for Spanish. H/t Melissa McCarthy, canon to the ordinary.
Resources
Stewardship Conference video, presentations available

A video of both sessions from the June 6 2020 Diocesan Stewardship Conference is here. Powerpoint presentations from both sessions are available below. The chat is available on the video.

Session 1
It's All About Relationship: Stewardship in the Time of Pandemic

Session 2
Passing the Plate Online: Quick, Quick, Where Do I Click?
PPP webinar available online

A video recording of the PPP (Payroll Protection Program) Loan webinar hosted by the Diocese of Los Angeles on June 2 is now available online here. The webinar was led by Bishop John Harvey Taylor; Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce; the Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy, canon to the ordinary; the Rev. Michele Racusin, diocesan finance officer; and attorney Jeff Baker, vice chancellor. It covered requirements for disbursement, documentation, and application to convert the PPP loans to grants.
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.
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.
REMINDERS
Please note: Diocese's P.O. Box is 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.
Clergy invited to discussion groups

To clergy of the diocese: If you are feeling a need for a safe space to connect and talk about the ways the “world looks and feels different to you” in a small group of clergy (6 - 10) led by a trained, MSW group facilitator, register for bi-weekly groups, which will start in July. To join a group, email to Alene Campbell at alene.cl117@gmail.com, and she will send you a link. Alternately, click here for a direct link.
Houses of worship eligible for financial assistance in case of disaster

[Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)] In the midst of a disaster it can be difficult to keep track of everything and find the information and documentation needed when your facility is damaged. One simple thing you can do now is create an account on Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grants Portal for your house of worship. This website will allow you to upload critical documents for your facility as well as place you in a notification system for when federal declarations are made to your area. FEMA will be offering a series of webinars titled "Grants Portal Applicant Basics," where you will learn how to register and set up a new Grants Portal account, submit a request for public assistance (RPA) and how upload documents and create tiles. For details and more information, click here.

U.S. government resources are available for families

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in a post on its Facebook page has suggested some federal resources for families experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Topics include stimulus packages; family finances; resources for farmers, ranchers and small businesses; and Social Security benefits. The FEMA notice is here.

Both items: h/t Ken Higginbotham of St. Stephen's Church, Santa Clarita, who is an external affairs officer for FEMA.
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 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.
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").
Links
Resource Roundup, a weekly publication for clergy, wardens, church office staff and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, is being sent to Episcopal News Update subscribers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Items for inclusion may be sent to news@ladiocese.org.