Greetings Brothers & Sisters,

In light of the rapidly developing situation around the CoVID-19 virus, the District Board felt compelled to offer a few guidelines and resources for you as you discern how to gather with one another in the next few weeks.

First and foremost, we are encouraging all members of our District to follow the guidelines issued by the following sources , following all updates daily:

Each of us must make decisions how to proceed, in light of our own settings. We urge you to take as many precautions as possible, considering many of us work with a large percentage of those populations most vulnerable to infection. Governor Wolf has closed all K-12 Pennsylvania schools for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16, so please cancel all church services for this time, as well as any unnecessary church activities. Going forward, this can be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, and determined by any state mandates.

With that being said, the upcoming ANE District events are as following:
  •   55 Plus Spring Luncheon, March 25- Further information will be communicated to those who registered
  • The Ethics Training scheduled for March 28 is currently being held, however, those who have registered for this event, will be notified closer to the time whether it will be canceled.

Whatever decisions you make, please work to communicate any changes on your congregation's social media presence (websites, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as well as with good signage around the church facility. Be sure to provide ways for folks who need a connection to the community of Christ in this time to be able to make contact by phone or email with pastors or deacons.

We are recommending the following practices for churches when you are able to gather: 
  •   Please stay home if you or a family member is sick
  • Institute a “No Touch” policy at worship, gatherings, and meetings. Greet one another warmly, but avoid hugs and handshakes
  •   Refrain from passing offering plates between one another in the pews, rather set up baskets by the doors to gather tithes and offerings

If services will be canceled, determine an alternative so that the faith community will still be fed spiritually and emotionally: Create ways to share your services virtually. Options include conference calls, Facebook Live, Zoom, Skype, YouTube Live, and others. See for help.

If you are not able to meet as a congregation, and do not have the capability to provide streaming services, consider encouraging your congregation to Live Stream another congregation.  

Let us also challenge you to go a step further. Please reach out and be a good neighbor to your neighbors. God is giving us an amazing opportunity to share his love with others. So, talk to your neighbors. Observe how you might help meet a need. Then meet that need. In other words, be a good neighbor – see a need, meet a need.

In Christ.
Pete Kontra, District Executive
Jeff Glisson, District Board Chair

A prayer for these days
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
This we pray in Christ our Lord. Amen. 

This prayer was shared in an e-mail from Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. It comes from the website of the Episcopal Relief and Development Agency. Portions of the foregoing text were contributed or based upon work shared by Jeff Graffeo, Timothy P. Harvey, Russ Matteson, Robby Tatum and others.