American Baptist Task Force on
Interpreting the Impact of Covid-19 on Congregations
In 2022, a task force on “Interpreting the Impact of COVID-19 on Congregations” was formed by the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary and Board of General Ministries in response to the interest of ABC congregations to continue to explore the impact of the global pandemic on congregational life. The task force was created to gather and share information regarding ways that ABC congregations can adjust to new realities created by the global pandemic so that they can become all that God intends them to be. The task force compiled the below list of resources:
ABCUSA is proud to be a founding member of the national volunteer COVID-19 Community Corps! #WeCanDoThis
Visit hhs.gov/COVIDCommunityCorps today to learn more and join us in the fight to protect America’s health.
At-home rapid COVID-19 tests are now being distributed to American homes for free at www.covidtests.gov
Increasing access to COVID-19 Treatments
Driven by President Biden’s comprehensive COVID-19 response, there are now more tools than ever before to protect people from the virus, including highly-effective treatments. The Administration announced new actions to make these treatments even easier to access and to make sure health care providers and patients know about their safety, efficacy, and availability. These actions will help strengthen and further build the infrastructure to ensure that lifesaving treatments for COVID-19 are quickly distributed around the country, widely available, and easy to access. Learn more.
Did You Know?
You can get a 2nd booster 4 months after your 1st if you’re 50+ and got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or if you’re 18+ and got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Find free vaccines near you at vaccines.gov.
Get Involved in the Fight Against Covid
Watch the We Can Do This Summit
We Can Do This Summit: Conversations on Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations was a virtual Summit featuring conversations among leading doctors, other medical professionals, parents, and community leaders about COVID vaccines and how the broader medical community can encourage vaccination among women who are pregnant, children, teens, and young adults. Watch the recording and consider ways that you can get involved in the fight against COVID-19.
Access to a vaccine should not be an obstacle for someone to get vaccinated. Here are three vaccine tools to bring to your communities right now:
- Visit vaccines.gov (English) or vacunas.gov (Spanish) to search and find a vaccine near you. (Accessible to those with disabilities.)
- Text GETVAX (438829) for English or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish to receive three vaccine sites on your phone within seconds.
- Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for those who prefer to get information via phone call. (Can assist in 150+ languages)
Many pharmacies and other vaccination sites are now offering walk-in appointments and that vaccinations are free of cost and do not require ID.
- General Audience Toolkit | WECANDOTHIS.HHS.GOV – This toolkit provides recommendations on how to have open and healthy conversations about COVID-19 with people you care about.
- April 13, 2021 Statement from Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine | The White House
Webinar: Online Worship: Elements, Interactions, and Technology by Jeremy Fackenthal
A Pastor’s Story in the Midst of the Pandemic: Pastor Matthew Burden of Second Baptist Church Calais, Maine, is interviewed by his Regional Resource Minister, Rev. Dr. Alfred Fletcher. View here.
A Perspective on Young Adult Stewardship Contributions to the Church During the Pandemic: “Realities of our New Normal” by members of the Commission on Congregational Mission of ABC of Wisconsin region. Click here to read this article.
Awareness, Preparation, Implementation: Ministry During Pandemic (free PDF resource) by Judson Press
Learning Through the Crisis: #InThisTogether: Ministry in Times of Crisis by Judson Press
Music: A Resource from “Join Your Voices” campaign: To assist choral leaders in search of a responsible and transparent pathway to return safely to singing, critical aspects and considerations have been compiled from current guidelines and initiatives related to the COVID-19 situation and organized to support a decision-making process.
- JoinYourVoices.pdf (noteablemask.com)
- offered by The Noteable Singing Mask – Science, Safety, Singing
Theological Considerations: Doing Theology in Pandemics | Facing Viruses, Violence, and Vitriol. A Public Lecture Series – Wisdom and Insights from Leading Theologians, a project of Chicago Theological Seminary.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About the News and Protect Their Sense of Safety [COVID-19 and other concerns]
- Instructions for applying for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance [March 24, 2021 Press Release: FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-Related Deaths
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze.
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects.
- Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home when you are sick, and if you are not sick stay home as much as possible.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance – FEMA
FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
COVID-19-Related Assistance: CARES Act, Recovery Rebates, Paycheck Protection Program – Interim General Secretary C. Jeff Woods
Discoveries & Learnings from the Global Pandemic – ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary
The Generosity Project: Stewardship and Pandemic – Webinar resource provided by Rev. Stacy Emerson, ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary
Stewardship and Pandemic Resources – prepare by Rev. Stacy Emerson
Guidance for Reopening
Courage in the Crisis – Summary Recommendations from the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) (New resource added July 22, 2020)
– View the CMDA Reopening Guidelines Evidence Addendum
– View CMDA’s page printable guide
Church Mutual Webinar and Resources:
- View the Webinar – “Reopening Safely”
- 01 ABCUSA Webinar Slides
- 02 Recommendations for a Safe Return to Worship
- 03 Safely Returning to Worship
Committing to a Hybrid Model of Ministry – Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Guidelines for Religious and Funeral Services – New York State, shared by ABCNYS
Ministry and Mission Reopening Resources – ABC of Pennsylvania and Delaware
Returning to Church – Wisconsin Council of Churches
Guidance for Religious Entities and Funeral Homes – West Virginia Government
When New York State’s PAUSE Recommendations are Lifted – What About Your Church? – Albany Presbytery
A Phased Approach to Regathering as Church: Turning Toward the Future with Caution and Hope – The Episcopal Bishops of Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia
What Will Our Church Look Like After Lockdown? – Baptist Union of Great Britain
Resources from Church Mutual Insurance:
- 01 Return to work checklist
- 02 COVID-19 Back to work letter – SAMPLE
- 3a FFCRA Document
- 3b Sample FFCRAl Leave Policy 3-230
- 3c FFCRA – Employee Rights Poster
Spanish Language Resources
Guía Para la Conversación Sobre Reabrir el Templo – American Baptist Churches USA
Protocolo y Guía Sugerida Para la Reapertura de Facilidades y Templos – Iglesias Bautistas de Puerto Rico (Suggested Protocol for Sanctuary Reopening)
Comunicado del Concilio de Iglesias de Puerto Rico (The Reopening of Sanctuaries Statement)
Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades – Centers for Disease Control (en Español)
Organización Panamericana de la Salud – Pan American Health Organization
Organización Mundial de la Salud – World Health Organization
COVID-19 Impact Survey of Building Use and Community Programs, Summer 2020 – Partners for Sacred Places
Advocacy Resource for Covid-19 – Philadelphia Baptist Association
Resources for Conversations with Children and Youth About Racism – provided by ABC of the Central Region
Generosity in the Midst of COVID-19 – American Baptist Churches USA
Giving Beyond the Offering Place – Ecumenical Stewardship Center
Unexpected Money Can Become Unexpected Generosity – Southern New England Conference, UCC
How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19 – Nonprofit Quarterly
Considering Faith, Community, and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Crisis – The Partnership Center
How to Lead Calmly in a Global Outbreak – Faith and Leadership
10 Guidelines for Pastoral Care During the Coronavirus Outbreak – The Christian Century
When Business Threats Are Contagious – ThinkHR
A Concise Coronavirus Guide for Churches – Christianity Today
Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus – Child Mind Institute
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations – U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Survey Shows Faith Can Prosper in Online Services – Religion News Service
6 Steps Your Congregation Should Take in Response to the Coronavirus – The Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Legal Considerations for Coronavirus Guidance and Church Gatherings – Church Law & Tax
Resources for Christian Leaders During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Faith and Leadership
Coronavirus Resources – Church Mutual Insurance
Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Sovereign Insurance Group
Coronavirus Guide for Pastoral Leaders, Judicatories and Congregations – New York State Council of Churches
Video: Supporting our Communities – Rev. Ken McKenzie, Federated Church of West Winfield, N.Y.
Ten Tech Tips for Meeting Online – Next Church (Presbyterian Church USA)
Note – Due to the limited amount that is known about the virus, information is being updated daily. We encourage you to contact and listen to your local health experts and authorities concerning best practices and the status of the outbreaks in your local context. The following links may also serve as helpful resources.
Find a Church
As congregations cancel on-site worship services and people across the country practice social distancing, you can still worship with American Baptists in your home via online worship services.
The best way to find an online worship service near you is to visit the Find a Church section of our website. Search for American Baptist churches in your community and visit their websites to find any online worship opportunities available.
Posts from our American Baptist Partners
This section ran was updated from March 10, 2020 through June 23, 2020. Region resource documents will continue to be added to the resources above.
June 23, 2020
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March 27, 2020
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March 19, 2020
A Letter from Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford – American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky
March 17, 2020
Sent Before His Face, Live Stream Readings – American Baptist Churches of New Jersey
March 16, 2020
COVID-19 Letter from International Ministries CEO – American Baptist International Ministries
American Baptist Foundation to Continue Service Remotely – American Baptist Foundation
March 13, 2020
A Message Regarding COVID-19 – ABC of Metro New York
March 12, 2020
A Letter from the Executive Minister – American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains
March 11, 2020
March 10, 2020
March 6, 2020
January 29, 2020