Resources for Christian leaders during the coronavirus pandemic

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We update this list of information from government and media sources regularly to offer guidance to pastors and other Christian leaders struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government-provided resources

CDC’s reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes

CDC’s general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe

CDC resource page for community- and faith-based leaders

HHS resource on faith, community and mental health during the COVID-19 crisis (PDF)

U.S. Small Business Administration’s coronavirus relief options

 

Pastoral resources

10 guidelines for pastoral care during the coronavirus outbreak
Christian Century: How can we accompany people through this valley of anxiety, fear, and death?

COVID-19 and worship: Resources for churches adapting to social isolation
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship: As containment of COVID-19 forces your worshiping community to implement ‘shelter in place’ worship and practice social isolation, we offer these resources to help you plan and cope in ways that encourage and support your community. 

When churches reopen, don’t sing or shake hands, do make sermons short, says guide
Religion News Service: An ecumenical group of clergy, scientists and other experts has released a guide to help congregations consider best practices for reopening for worship.
Guide: Resuming care-filled worship and sacramental life during a pandemic (PDF)
Resources: Stop the Spread’s suite of information and related organizations

10 ideas for church financial leaders amid the COVID-19 crisis
UMC Discipleship: Here are some directions for financial leaders across the church to help with sustaining the church and its ministry as we live through the coronavirus crisis.

Guide for Christian funerals during COVID-19 (PDF)
Massachusetts Council of Churches: In times of trial like the death of a loved one, we turn to the familiar practices from our faith and ancestors. And so, we know that this disruption for a grieving community is doubly hard.

 

Religion news and opinion

Vaccines push the question: Are you going back to church?
The Washington Post: Now that more people are vaccinated, many are pondering whether they want and are ready to go back to their pre-pandemic routines. What about worship services?

CDC director: Masked, fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship indoors
Religion News Service: ‘As we gather more and more data on the real-world efficacy of vaccines, we know that masked, fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship services inside,’ said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Faith leaders’ year of pandemic: grief, solace, resilience
Associated Press: The pandemic, said one assistant pastor, “has called us to rethink and re-imagine what our philosophy of ministering really is in the age of COVID.”

More Americans than people in other advanced economies say COVID-19 has strengthened religious faith
Pew Research: Nearly three-in-ten U.S. adults say the outbreak has boosted their faith; about four-in-ten say it has tightened family bonds.

 

Other news and opinion

The fundamental question of the pandemic is shifting
The Atlantic: Individualism valorizes independence and prizes personal freedom. It has also repeatedly hamstrung America’s pandemic response.

My patients will not be the same. None of us will.
The New York Times: Even as the C.D.C. lifts its recommendations on masks for vaccinated Americans, paving the way for a return to “normalcy,” we need to look back to move forward, says a pulmonary and critical-care physician.

Will we ever grasp the enormity of the pandemic?
GEN Magazine: As long as we focus on deaths and statistics, the bigger story of Covid-19 will go untold.

The short-term, middle-term, and long-term future of the coronavirus
STAT: However long it takes, the transition to a mild endemic virus is unlikely to be a straight line.