The Federal Centers for Disease Control CDC website CDC.gov
Johns Hopkins real time worldwide tracking of COVID-19 dashboard
Federal Response on COVID-19 Coronavirus.gov
Michigan Department of Heath & Human Services website
Need another resource? Looking for advice? Please contact Michigan Communications
A message from Bishop David Bard
From the earliest days of the Church, healing and caring for the sick and suffering have been an important dimension of the Christian way. “They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them” (Mark 6:13). “Are any among you suffering? They should pray…. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:13-14). The Christian Church often established institutions of health and healing as it also shared the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. Please use these resources to protect your community, your family, and yourself.
Pandemic Planning Resources
Nonprofit Organizations and Houses of Worship
COVID-19 - CORONAVIRUS
SITUATIONS ARE CHANGING REGULARLY. CHECK BACK OFTEN
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, October 8, 2020 6:30 PM EDT
Last week the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Governor Whitmer exceeded her authority in issuing executive orders after the legislature did not extend her emergency authority in April in relationship to COVID-19. The legal situation surrounding our state’s response to the COVID-19 is now uncertain, with the Michigan Department of Health and many county health officials issuing new COVID-19 guidelines, guidelines. Bishop Bard urges strong health crisis risk management around COVID-19 and that you pay attention to the guidelines of local health officials.
"As your bishop, I have not viewed the coronavirus pandemic primarily in legal or governmental terms, but have always wanted to focus on public health." Says Bishop Bard, "I found in the Governor’s executive orders helpful guidelines for promoting public health, and in their absence I want to reassert the importance of continuing to act in ways that promote public health, that further the common good, and that demonstrate loving care for the well-being of others."
COVID -19 Health Crisis Risk Management
The conference recommends that when you meet together, wear masks and maintain social distance. Wash your hands frequently and clean your facilities thoroughly. Continue to offer on-line options for people to participate in the life of your church.
"The same Jesus who invited us to not be afraid also encouraged us to be wise." Said the bishop, "We need not be dominated by fear, but we do need to be wise. Wisdom asks of us to exercise good judgement. Love asks of us to care for each other."
As when other health recommendations have been issued, Bishop Bard encourages pastors and other congregational leaders to read the order and determine how the information contained in it may affect your church’s practice.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, if a congregation is meeting indoors, the Bishop asks for local churches to again review both the health data in their area and their mitigation practices, including the requirement to wear face coverings.
In some regions, it may make sense to discontinue meeting in the sanctuary, but that may not be true for all. If you are meeting outdoors, such gatherings seem significantly safer, and the recommended limits for persons to attend are much higher.
What you can do right now
Health crisis risk management COVID-19 PERSONAL RESPONSE
- Pray for all those affected by COVID-19, including the health professionals working to contain the virus and treat to those impacted.
- Stay home. Be faithful by taking action to protect others around you.
- When in public, stay at least 6 feet from others, indoor or outside.
- Wear a mask to prevent infection of others.
- If you or a family member is sick, may have been directly exposed to the virus or have traveled to a high-alert area (currently South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan), please follow the CDC guidelines and refrain from attending church services during the 14-day incubation period and instead worship with us online.
- Mail a check in, or electronically share your weekly gifts with your church.
- Soap breaks down the virus.Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider in advance to tell them about your symptoms before arriving at a doctor’s office or hospital. Inform your church.
How we can continue to be the church during COVID-19
- Access the many resources on the Michigan Conference Website to support ministry during this time and move to implement these new tools.
- Pre-tape or conduct live worship services using ZOOM, YouTube, or Facebook Live. This allows worship leaders be in their own homes but still appearing together.
- If your church is not able to offer online services at this time, share online worship services at nearby UMCs. See the list.
- Conduct Bible studies and congregational care via telephone or ZOOM technology.
- Continue to participate in generosity and stewardship of your local church. If your church does not have online giving, contact the office of the conference treasurer to arrange for free online giving for 2 months.
- Register to watch the many Webinars offered on the conference website and Facebook. See the toolbox at left.
- Organize a local church response team to monitor, plan, communicate, manage finances, and increase church hygiene.
- Visit our Health Crisis Toolbox (see icon at top of page) and prepare your church.
- Discuss how you can minister to and safely check on the well-being of impacted members. Use telephone or other electronic means. Discuss how you might safely support those needing to shelter in place with food and other necessities.
Where you can get immediate information about COVID-19