March 31, 2020
Three Weeks In
It’s been 19 days since we’ve had to stop gathering. However, our presbytery is showing how adaptable and resilient we can be, and great examples of people rising to the occasion abound. We’ll be sharing such stories in the weeks ahead.
Although we may only send our Tidings newsletter every other Tuesday, our website is updated daily with information. Amid the pandemic we are all experiencing, this is especially the case, as we strive to stay up to date with the latest news and resources that may be of importance to you. Here are just a few of the highlights gathered from these past two weeks:

While the virus has most of us focused on respiratory health, there’s more to mind than that (pun intended). But seriously, please be aware of the mental health of your friends, relatives, and neighbors, and be mindful ;) that we are all going through this together.

Most importantly, please be sure to heed all State mandates prohibiting the gathering of individuals.

So, stay in touch, let us know how you are doing, and share your experiences with us. Just remember: Patience is not just a virtue, it will also keep you and our neighbors safe this next month. And we’ll be here the whole time.

Give or Serve in COVID-19 Relief Efforts
Our local congregations and community organizations run after-school programs, neighborhood meals, and a number of other creative programs that are adapting to meet new realities like social distancing and greatly increasing food insecurity. Their ministries will only become more important through this crisis. The Center staff is undertaking to maintain a list of volunteer and donation needs for anyone searching for ways to give and support community engagement in our presbytery in this vital moment. Visit their website to sign up or for more information .

COVID-19 Relief Grants
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Presbytery has established an assistance fund for those financially impacted by this pandemic. The COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to provide emergency aid to eligible churches impacted by the COVID-19 virus. This fund may not be applicable for cases in which long-term financial support is needed. Visit our website for application and more information.

Community Engagement Grants
The Commission on Reconciliation announces that the Community Engagement Grant deadline has been extended to Friday, April 17, 2020 . It is our hope that this gives churches a chance to consider how they might adapt their community engagement ministries in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We recognize that congregations may need to incorporate new approaches, new relationships or activities that are emerging, or simply postpone some activities until the Fall. If you have any questions or concerns about the new deadline, please don’t hesitate to contact Susan Krehbiel, or Lisa Beacham, chair, at .

Upcoming Webinars
Community Engagement Conversations
We all have been working hard to adjust to being the Church at a distance - moving to online or conference call-based worship, touching base with one another to be able to provide support through this pandemic.

As we settle into these new congregational rhythms, it’s time to consider how we can meet the needs of our neighbors. Beginning two weeks after Easter, The Center will be hosting 3 conversations on Zoom for any church leaders who would like to brainstorm, share ideas, and problem-solve about how to engage with your community during this pandemic.

These "Community Engagement Conversations" will happen at 10:00 a.m. on April 23, April 30, and May 7th. See the next issue of Tidings for the Zoom link, or contact Kate Foster Connors at or McKenna Lewellen at

The Presbytery office is only open for visits or appointments on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for the next two weeks . We will continue to assess this decision as information emerges.
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