Responding to Coronavirus and other emergencies

Statements

Our Covid-19 Reopening plan, Journeying by Stages. Updated 3-19-21

May 26, 2020 – A joint statement from RI Faith Leaders on Reopening

April 9, Maundy Thursday – A message from Rhode Island’s Faith Leaders

March 16, 2020 – A message from our Bishop.

The Bishop has directed congregations to suspend in-person public worship. March 14, 2020

Messages from the Presiding Bishop: March 10, March 12, March 17

Guidance from the Church of England.

Worship, and Pray

Worship online  – our parishes, and resources

Prayers compiled

Help with the new age of online ministry from VTS

Spanish Language Resources

Hebert Palomino, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University, is releasing a series of videos in Spanish on caring for people in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you serve in a ministry context with Spanish-speaking persons, Dr. Palomino encourages you to make use of these videos and share them with others. Here are links for the first three videos; he plans to release one or more additional videos each week.
Definiendo la crisis
Que esperar en medio de una crisis
Cómo manejar las Cómo manejar las emociones descompensadoras

Ideas

New – We have detailed information regarding sewing face masks, and helping the homeless, here.

The stress of this pandemic has many effects. This page lists resources for dealing with mental health, addiction, and domestic violence.

Mail sermons or meditations to people who are not online. Send handwritten notes and cards. Is art part of your home-school program? Ask if you may send those masterpieces to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Use the back pages to write notes to family and friends.

Create a phone tree and call each other to check in.

Deliver meals or food as needed. If you have to go out, call elders you know, call your neighbors, and ask what they need. Help others to stay in.

Establish prayer partners and pray for each other over the phone. Commit to keep praying.

Check in with the local food pantry, ask how you can help.

Ask everyone you interact with how you can pray for them and how you can help them.

Ask yourself – how do I keep doing these things when the emergency is past?

Do you sew? Hospitals are looking for help making masks.

Many of our congregations host AA meetings, and many of us have friends and family dealing with addiction. Make sure they know that there are resources online.

Please continue to support your church by sending in your offering. Make the jump to online giving, or set up an automatic transfer schedule from your bank. There are bills that still need to be paid.

Clergy Resources

NewHymns made available by Church Publishing for Fall 2020. Food for thought, an article from The American Organist about streaming.

NewJourneying by Stages, guidance for re-opening.

New – A compilation of suggestions and resources to assist you in your continuing online presence.

The latest guidance from the state regarding re-opening considerations.

Covid-19 Reopening plan template.

Guidance for Funeral Homes from RI Department of Health.

Looking for music to stream? More information about copyright and use of music for streaming is here, and here.

HR issues, addressed by our consultant. Returning, or not, from unemployment.

Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

Caring for Church Buildings. Advice from the CofE. Not all of the information is applicable here, but there are some good suggestions.

End of life pastoral care guidelines, from the Bishop.

If you are looking for information regarding putting your congregation’s service online, start here. There are additional resources here, and here. Regarding the use of music online: OneLicense.

This is a link to a survey that you might adapt for finding out what are the most pressing needs of your parish community.

Having issues with using Zoom? There is a great tutorial here.

This is a summary of a webinar sponsored by Episcopal Relief and Development, addressing the stress of isolation and quarantine. Lists some helpful resources and includes a link to a recording of the webinar.

Regarding congregational financial concerns.

We have put together some advice regarding planning for emergency situations. This page will be updated as situations warrant.

 Lifespan has released temporary, guidance regarding hospital visits during this time. https://www.lifespan.org/news/visitation-restricted-lifespan-hospitals

 

 

Emergency Management

Is your congregation prepared in the event of an emergency? If a devastating storm hits, or there is an outbreak of something like the coronavirus, what will you do?

Points to consider:

  • Get your contact lists up to date! You will need to use your congregation’s lists – mail/email/phone/etc, to keep in touch with people. Consider setting up a phone tree, so that those who are not online are not cut off. The Diocese would very much like to have your lists as well, so that we are in a position to be helpful in reaching out to those affected.
  • Check with your local Emergency Managers to see if they might need any assistance, and to get yourself in the informational loop. Your buildings might not qualify as emergency shelters, but there are other things that could be of service such as storing emergency food stores, serving as cell phone charging stations for area residents, being a water distribution point, etc. http://www.riema.ri.gov//resources/emergencymanager/response/local.php
  • Consider how to worship. Can any of the Daily Offices be led via Facebook Live, or a YouTube channel? This is a very helpful video explaining how to get your service on Facebook. (We have a list of additional online worship suggestions available here, if your congregation isn’t set up to provide them.)
  • Consider how to keep the business of your congregation running. Is telecommuting possible? Is online bill paying set up? Online pledging? Do your parishioners know they can arrange auto-payments from their bank?
  • How do you stay in touch? There are number of ways to continue holding meetings, checking in, even worshiping. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Live, YouTube
  • If you are taking infection control steps during services (‘hands-off” during the peace, communion in one kind, etc) you must communicate this. Place a note in the bulletin, make an announcement at the start of the service, post to your website, put a note in your weekly email.
  • Encourage your congregants to be prepared for an emergency. (Always a good idea.) Bottled water, non-perishable foods, and a sufficient supply of necessary medications should be on hand when emergency strikes.

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https://www.stalbans.anglican.org/coronavirus/

Coronavirus: what we haven’t heard from Government

5th March 2020

The Bishop’s Coronavirus Golden Rules

Not official advice: read and heed that here – but this is food-for-thought about our attitudes.

Golden Rule One: Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the  official precautions,  offer help and reassurance to others – and don’t demonise anyone or any group.

Golden Rule Two: Think about who may be suffering more than me. For those of us who are healthy there is much less to worry about but the elderly, the housebound and those with chronic health conditions may be very anxious. How about each church undertaking an audit of all the vulnerable people they know and sharing out the responsibility to phone them each day. There’s nothing like a friendly voice to offer solace when someone is worried. A smile can bring cheer, even on the phone. If you visit, follow all the official precautions or don’t go.

Golden Rule Three: Don’t give into panic and start hoarding food. There is plenty to go around, so practise the Christian discipline of sharing. Ask your neighbours what they need and do you best to help them get it. If you are self-isolating you will of course need some supplies.

Golden Rule Four: Live today to the full. None of us ever know what the future holds. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6. 25 – 34), Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and not be afraid. Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness.

And, along with just over half the adults in the UK, don’t forget to pray. Here’s a suggestion from the Revd Louise Collins, a Team Vicar in Borehamwood, Herts:

Dear God our Shield and our Defender, guide and protect my neighbour in this time of health emergency; deliver them from all harm and may your love and care ever grow in this place. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

+Alan St Albans

Do you have your suggestions of other Golden Rules to help us during this time? Please tweet them #coronagoldenrules

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Helpful links:

https://episcopalchurch.org/concerning-covid19

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/personal/index.html CDC general advice for preventing the spread of infectious disease

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/gathering/index.html Advice for public gatherings

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/gr-pan-flu-com-faith-org-serv-vul-pop.pdf Specific advice for Churches

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Fabout%2Findex.html Coronavirus faq page

https://health.ri.gov/emergency/about/specialneedsregistry/ Registry for anyone with oxygen or other medical equipment at home, or with other needs that first responders might need to know.

Filing an Insurance Claim

To Report a Claim

Whenever there is knowledge of an actual claim or potential claim, a report to The Church Insurance Company should be made as soon as possible. Prompt reporting allows us to better serve our clients by quickly initiating the claim process resulting in mitigating the loss and timely resolution of the claim.

If you suffer a major loss, contact our Claims Center:

  • Phone: (800) 223-5705
  • Fax: (212) 592-9426

After Hours/Emergency Claims
Call (800) 223-5705 for instructions on how to reach Cunningham-Lindsey, our main field adjustment/investigation company, for whatever emergency action they believe is necessary to handle the situation.

Sensitive Claims
To report claims of great sensitivity (such as misconduct matters or severe injury), please call the following senior claims personnel:

  • Samuel Carucci, Esq, Vice President, Claims (800) 223-6602, ext. 1348
  • Kenneth Miller, Claims Examiner (800) 223-6602, ext. 1340

Safety and Insurance Handbook

Many predicaments might befall a church or religious institution. These problems range from natural disasters to embezzlement to auto accidents. This book is meant to act as a reference and a guide. It’s divided into eight sections that look deeply into the types of insurance that every institution should have to be adequately protected:

Property

General Liability

Directors and Officers Liability/EmploymenPractices Liability

Auto, including Hired and NonOwned

Workers Compensation and Employers Liability

Excess/Umbrella Liability

Commercial Crime

Travel Accident and Sickness

DOWNLOAD the Safety & Insurance Handbook

Fine Arts Appraisals

Commercial package policies purchased through Church Insurance Companies provide coverage for fine arts up to $500,000. Higher limits will be available for Churches that find their collective value of fine arts exceeds the $500,000 limit provided. It is important to review and understand your inventory of fine arts so that adequate limits of insurance can be purchased.

DOWNLOAD the Fine Arts Appraisal booklet

Church Inventory

The contents of your properties have great accumulated value as personal property. In the event they are lost or destroyed, an inventory helps to substantiate the existence of items and, most importantly, the cost to replace them.

 

DOWNLOAD the Inventory Booklet

Safeguarding Your Assets

Church Insurance provides a booklet about insurance with the “average” buyer in mind, hoping to provide a user-friendly overview of property and casualty insurance. The goal is to help you develop a broad and cohesive asset protection program for your church. This publication provides only a “treetop view” of a complex subject and may not address every type of insurance relevant to your situation. But is a great overview to help Vestries and Bishop’s Committee think about their insurance needs.

DOWNLOAD: Safeguarding Your Assets