Directory of COVID-19 Resources
It’s tempting to write “This is a great article, check it out!” after so many of these entries...but we’ll refrain. Hopefully you’ll agree that there are some real gems in this collection of COVID-related resources for faith communities.
We look forward to hearing what information is most helpful to you. And check back often; we’ll edit this page as we receive updates from our partner groups.
The Pathways team
Resources by Category
UPCOMING LIVE STREAMING EVENTS
Register now for these upcoming live streaming events.
“Connected Teams in a Virtual World” Wednesday, July 15, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Free. A Live Online Workshop presented by Center for Congregations.
Many congregational teams are still working remotely. Human connection is an innate need, and it is easy to feel alienated or disconnected. For your teams to function in healthy and effective ways, it is vital that extra measures are taken to maintain social rapport in this virtual meeting environment. This interactive virtual workshop, led by ideation trailblazer Ritch Hochstetler, will focus on tangible ways to maintain cohesion, interpersonal relationships, and trust on your team as you navigate virtual meetings and remote work.
“Faithful Planning” Thursday, July 16, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EDT. Webinar from the Lifelong Learning Department at Virginia Theological Seminary. Free, or pay a voluntary fee.
Ronald Culmer and Christine Hides will share tips and tricks for short and long-term planning in ministry, even when it's difficult to plan, or plans change.
“Loss, Grief and Pastoral Care During COVID-19” Thursday, July 16, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday, July 21,
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EDT. Free. Presented by Center for Congregations.
The year has taken a toll on many people of faith - some are experiencing many layers of frustration, isolation, and even grief. How do you provide pastoral care to those who are hurting the most as they try to make sense out of their experience? Parkview Chaplaincy Director Patrick Riecke talks loss, grief, pastoral care and COVID, and responds to your specific questions about how to provide care during this unusual time.
“Faithful Stewardship in a Time of Uncertainty” The Lilly School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Melissa Spas. May 26, 2020.
“Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship.” Ecumenical Stewardship Center. Review of the above-titled book by J. Clif Christopher. June 11, 2020.
“Notre Dame and COVID-19” Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Vital Practices. Ken Mosesian. May 13, 2020. The writer compares the way it took a fire at Notre Dame to bring in money to fix its failing infrastructure, to the ways the global pandemic has laid bare the great challenges that confront the church, and our world.
“Lessons from History: How Crises Have Expanded Philanthropy” The Lilly School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Podcast featuring Dr. Kathi Badertscher. May 18, 2020.
“7 Ways to Keep Revenue and Donations Flowing During the COVID-19 Crisis” Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Rob Blezard. April 15, 2020.
“Empty pews take a financial toll on many US congregations” The Conversation. Brad R. Fulton, David King, and Chris Munn. April 29, 2020. The authors provide data on recent trends in religious giving.
"Will the Church Financially Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic?” Faith and Leadership newsletter from Duke Divinity. April 28, 2020. Twelve Christian leaders, including David King from the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, share their thoughts on how the pandemic might affect the financial health of American Churches.
“9 Ways to Give Beyond the Offering Plate & 6 Things You Should Do When You Use Them”
The Ecumenical Stewardship Center Blog. March 31, 2020.
“Funding the Mission First: Trusting in the Gospel in Times of Uncertainty” CEEP Network. March 28, 2020. Featuring Melissa Spas of the Lake Institute.
“Impact of CARES Act on Giving” The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Certain provisions in the CARES Act allow new incentives for charitable contributions during 2020. You may want to pass this info along to donors.
“Podcast: The Role of Philanthropy in Times of Crises” The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.
Good news and helpful tips about engaging donors now.
“Coronavirus: What the Church Can Learn from the Black Death Pandemic” Rockbridge Seminary. Daryl Eldridge. April 3, 2020.
“The Coming ‘Religion Recession'” Religion & Politics: Fit for Polite Company. David Gibson. June 23, 2020.
The future of our national religious life is the subject of growing speculation, with the sunny-side-up view arguing that we are primed for a new “Great Awakening.” The data and history tell a different story, the writer argues.
“The Distanced Church: Reflections on Doing Church Online” A free e-book from Digital Religion Publications. Heidi A. Campbell, editor.
In this 95-page collection, a variety of religious leaders, pastors, theologians, and media scholars share their reflections about what it is like to do church online during this time of social distancing.
“Connection is More Important than Content in Digital Gatherings” Lewis Center for Church Leadership Leading Ideas. Zach Lambert. June 24, 2020. “I believe, in the age of social distancing, folks are becoming more aware of their need for deep friendship,” says the writer. “Right now, the church is uniquely positioned to step into that gap digitally and then carry the torch forward long after social distancing is behind us.”
“Resources for Christian Leaders During the Coronavirus Pandemic” Faith and Leadership, Duke Divinity. July 1, 2020. The editors update this list of information from government and media sources regularly, to offer guidance to Christian leaders as they respond to the pandemic.
“Americans Increasingly Cautious as Coronavirus Cases Surge” Ipsos News & Polls. June 26, 2020. New ABC News/Ipsos poll data finds most Americans are wearing face masks when leaving the home.
“Future-Focusing Your Church Finances” ECF Vital Practices. June 10, 2020. Archived webinar. ECF staffers Carsten Sierck and Demi Prentiss explore finance and planning practices to help prepare congregations for the new and unexpected.
"Dangerous Shortcuts – Keeping Church Finances on a Safe Path” Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Vital Practices. Carsten Sierck and Demi Prentiss. May 13, 2020. Archived webinar. During this difficult time, money decisions can determine your church’s future. Learn strategies for building trust and for avoiding easy but dangerous shortcuts that can undermine your church’s financial health.
“Three Big Communication Mistakes Organizations are Making During the COVID-19 Crisis” Less Chaos. Less Noise. March 20, 2020.
“Church Financial Management in Challenging Times” Church Law & Tax on-demand webinar. Mike Batts, CPA.
Batts covers financial practices needed to reduce costs, shore up cash reserves, create efficiencies, and maintain internal controls during a financial management crisis brought on by the pandemic. Loaded with actionable information and well worth its 80-minute run time.
“How Should Leaders Respond to an External Shock?” Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Meredith McNabb, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving. April 29, 2020.
“5 Practices for Coaxing Order Out of Chaos” The Faith+Leader. Susan Beaumont. April 16, 2020.
“10 Thoughts on Leading Through the COVID-19 Crisis.” Leading Ideas, Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Alex Shanks. April 1, 2020.
“Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization is Now a Startup.” The Praxis Journal. Andy Crouch, Kurt Keilhacker, and Dave Blanchard. March 20, 2020.
In a far-reaching and insightful piece, leaders at Praxis Labs assert that COVID-19 has brought about a once-in-a-lifetime change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years.
“Innovating Through Crisis” The Faith+Leader. April 13, 2020.
Ideas for how faith leaders can “break down silos, bind together, and find new ways to be church.”
“Managing Empty Buildings in the Era of COVID-19” Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) Network. April 22, 2020.
Video discussion featuring four panelists.
“Adaptive Leadership in the Face of a Pandemic,” Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program. Grace Burton Edwards, Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia.
“The Art of Organizing” ECFVP Vestry Papers. Francisco Garcia. March 2020.
Why community activism and organizing is vital work for churches.
Clergy, congregations and people of faith:
“Prayer matters. It’s not magic. But it makes a difference.” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
Each Monday through the end of May, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church (United States) will post a video meditation on the theme Habits of Grace. Here is his post from April 20.
“Lessons from Ministry in the Midst of a Disaster” Healing the Healers. The Rev. Matt Crebbin. March 30, 2020.
Rev. Crebbin shares the lessons he learned about trauma and ministry when in 2012, he served his community in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
“A Coronavirus Prayer” The Atlantic. James Parker. April 25, 2020.
A hopeful ode to the human spirit.
“What Does Love Do? Living the Way of Love during Pandemic” The Episcopal Church. An inspiring handout to download and share.
“Prayers for Self, Church, Community, and World Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic” Download these prayers selected by the Episcopal Church. (Go here for Spanish- and French-language versions.) Another wonderful resource for clergy and worshipers.
“What Happens When Soccer Practice Comes Back?” ECF Vital Practices for Leading Congregations. Picket Wall. May, 2020. When life’s distractions re-emerge, will our people come back to church?
“Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: What Would Love Do?” The Episcopal Church website. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. April 29, 2020.
“Virtual Evangelism” ECFVP blog. April 17, 2020.
Online services are an opportunity to grow your worship community during COVID-19 and beyond.
“Resource List for Online Church.” Practical Resources for Churches.
Tips and how-tos for transitioning to online platforms – even if you’re not a “Techie” (Some info is specific to Church of Christ congregations.)
“A Chaplain to the Dying in a Season of Pandemic” Episcopal News Service. June 26, 2020. The Rev. Ann Hockridge speaks movingly about her own spiritual journey as she counsels caregivers, families, and the dying during
“I am living with the same fear, the same uncertainty, the same exhaustion, some of the same isolation that is impacting all of my parishioners and all of our hospice patients, and all of our staff, and so it has been incredibly important for me to be talking about my confusion, my worry, my exhaustion with other chaplains and other clergy, so that I am not spilling out.” Rev. Ann Hockridge
“Believe, Repeat, and Act.” Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) Open Plaza. Rev. Dr. Melinda Contreras-Byrd. April 8, 2020. Thoughts on warding off despair and regaining hope.
“Vocation in a Time of Coronavirus: Reflections from C.S. Lewis’ ‘Learning in Wartime’ ” Vocation Matters. Jason D. Stevens. April 15, 2020.
“What Will Summer Be Like Without the Usual VBS, Camps and Youth Mission Trips?” Faith and Leadership. June 23, 2020. Christian professionals and families partner to develop innovative approaches to youth formation in a socially distant environment.
“Ministry in a Global Pandemic” Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) Vital Practices. Joshua Rodriguez-Hobbs. June 11, 2020. Archived webinar.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected all aspects of our ministries. We and those we serve have been profoundly affected by the trauma caused by the novel coronavirus. Learn about trauma response from a behavioral sciences perspective, as well as how to respond pastorally and theologically to traumatized individuals. The Rev. Rodriguez-Hobbs serves as the Episcopal Chaplain to the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“Your Church Website was Once a Billboard. It is Now Your Sanctuary.” The Faith+Leader. Ryan Panzer. May 20, 2020.
“A Simpler VBS During COVID Season” GenOn Ministries. Betsy Dishman. May 19, 2020.
Includes resources for bringing Vacation Bible School in-home or online.
“Be Weird Be True” ECF Vital Practices for Leading Congregations. David Peters. May, 2020. Tips to help you develop your online ministry, from a priest who’s gone viral.
“Zoom Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Next Meeting” virtual-church.org. Levi McKay and Angie Brokaw. April 15, 2020.
“How to Stay Connected Through Video” virtual-church.org. Angie Brokaw. March 22, 2020. How to get set up and use Zoom or Google Hangouts to meet.
“Tools for Maintaining Community During a Pandemic” Episcopal Relief & Development website. May 1, 2020.
“Coming Together: How People Around the World Give Back During COVID-19” The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Abby Rolland. April 6, 2020.
“Larger Churches Encouraged to Help Smaller Ones Survive COVID-19 Pandemic” The Christian Century. April 20, 2020
Health and Safety During COVID-19
“Considerations for Wearing Cloth Face Coverings” CDC. Updated June 28, 2020.
Also see our blog entry “All About Face Masks.”
“Face Mask Requirements: Can Stores Make You Wear a Mask? Do Kids Have to Wear Masks?” USA Today. Kelly Tyko. July 5, 2020. This article provides wide-ranging updates to the mask debate, including this: “USA Today fact checked claims that wearing a face mask for prolonged periods of time would cause someone to experience significant reductions in oxygen intake, resulting in hypoxemia. The fact check found no evidence to support this.”
“Buying Face Masks for Kids? 15 Online Stores You Can Shop from Now” CNET: Health and Wellness. Your child needs a comfortable face mask designed just for them. Here are several sources for masks in kids’ sizes, in styles of all kinds.
“Treating COVID-19 at Home: Care Tips for You and Others” The Mayo Clinic. Understand when emergency care is needed and what you can do to prevent the spread of infection.
“Caring for Someone Sick at Home” CDC. May 8, 2020. What to do when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus.
“From Camping to Dining Out: Here’s How Health Experts Rate the Risks of 14 Summer Activities” Shots: Health News from NPR. Allison Aubrey, Laurel Wamsley, and Carmel Wroth. May 23, 2020
“How to Get Sleep in Uneasy Times” Shots: Health News from NPR. Patti Neighmond. June 2, 2020.
“Running Essential Errands: Grocery Shopping, Take-Out, Banking, and Getting Gas” CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest recommended precautions for doing the things that have to get done.
“Managing Anxiety: Coronavirus Fears and Concerns” An archived webinar from The Church Pension Group. May, 2020. Dr. Bill Diamond, a clinical psychologist and leading expert on stress management, provides concrete advice for managing feelings of helplessness during the coronavirus pandemic. Full of good ideas to share.
“A User’s Guide to Face Masks” New York Times. Tara Parker-Pope. April 10, 2020.
“Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19” CDC.
GENERAL PASTORAL CARE
“Why Kids Love Building Forts – and Why Experts Say They Might Need Them More Than Ever” The Washington Post. Susan C. Margolin. May 18, 2020
“Tucked In: Bedtime Stories and Prayers with Episcopalians and Others” Each Monday, Wednesday and occasional Fridays, on-camera volunteers read Bible and inspirational stories and short bedtime prayers for children. Find them on facebook.
“How to Get Your Kids to Stay Six Feet Away…From Everything” The New York Times. Alex Wilson. June 14, 2020. Now there’s a video game to teach children about social distancing. Learn about this and other ways to help kids adopt good habits around COVID-19 prevention.
“Your Money and the Pandemic” The Washington Post. Michelle Singletary. June 1, 2020. Answers to your community’s most pressing personal finance questions on the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource” National Association of School Psychologists handout. February 29, 2020.
“Pastoral Care in the Coronavirus Crisis” Lewis Center for Church Leadership podcast. Michael Koppel and Ann A. Michel. April 1, 2020.
“COVID-19: Navigating Communal Trauma in Faith” Odyssey Impact: Healing the Healers. April 15, 2020. Panelists Rev. Matt Crebbin, Dr. Katie Wiebe, and Rev. Tyshawn Gardner.
A town hall conversation with experts who’ve led congregations through both human-caused and natural disasters, exploring what pastoral care and leadership wisdom those experiences provide now.
“10 Guidelines for Pastoral Care During the Coronavirus Outbreak” The Christian Century. March 10, 2020.
“We Asked Experts How to Cope with Your Coronavirus Anxiety” Shine. March 12, 2020.
“Helping Adolescents Work Through the Rising Tide of Anxiety” Fuller Youth Institute. Rhett Smith.
“Naming Losses and Gratitude with Young People in these Uncertain Days” Fuller Youth Institute. Brad M. Griffin.
This is meant as advice on helping kids who are hurting, but the exercise can be helpful for any age.
“The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won” The Episcopal Church Virtual Choir and Orchestra. Voices and instruments from across the globe, joining in Easter praise. April, 2020.
“Behind the Scenes of the Easter Virtual Choir” Living Church. Kirk Petersen. May 4, 2020. Learn how the global virtual performance was conceived and produced.
“The Great Realization” probablytomfoolery.com. Tomos Roberts. April 30, 2020. This simple spoken poem carries a positive message about the future.
“A Time for Everything” ECF Vital Practices for Leading Congregations. Linda Buskirk. March 17, 2020.
“The Quiet Center: Cultivating Inner Peace in UnsettlingTimes." ECF Vital Practices video. Rebecca Roberts. April 1, 2020. Rebecca teaches simple practices to help settle the heart and mind, so that we can be fully present to our parishioners, our families and to God.
“Music and Encouragement from Balconies Around the World” The Atlantic. Alan Taylor. March 24, 2020.
“The Emergency Button” Everything Happens, A Podcast with Kate Bowler.
A little dose of courage: Kate talks to the people she calls when fear is overwhelming.