Along with those in our congregations and much of the global population, we at the Pacifica Synod are concerned about the coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19. We encourage everyone to stay informed and to prioritize the safety of themselves and their communities.
Recent Synod Communications
March 24, 2020 – From the Bishop – The CARES Act and Church Employees
March 23, 2020 – From the Bishop – To Our Synod Pastors and Deacons
March 21, 2020 – From the Bishop – Giving Thanks in This Time of Battling the Spread of COVID-19
March 16, 2020 – Joint Statement from Bishop Andy Taylor and Bishop Guy Erwin
March 14, 2020 – From the Bishop – Our God is Our Refuge and Strength
March 13, 2020 – Synod News & Event Updates
The ELCA has provided many resources to help leaders and members stay connected and resilient during COVID-19. These include worship resources, employer resources and news releases. They may be accessed on the ELCA’s Public Health page at https://elca.org/publichealth
For a letter from Bishop Eaton and the ELCA Worship Team regarding Holy Communion, click here.
National & Local Resources
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) continue to release the most up-to-date information on the disease, and both have developed a variety of resources regarding prevention and response.
On March 11, the California Department of Pubic Health issued an updated policy on gatherings to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19. The full policy may be found here. We understand that leadership of each congregation must make their own informed choices and encourage you to refer to your County Public Health Department’s website for information specific to your location. See below for links to the health department in your county:
Orange County Public Health Care Agency
Riverside County Public Health
San Bernardino County Public Health
San Diego County Public Health Services
County of Los Angeles Public Health
Hawaii State Department of Health
Live Streaming Resources
If your congregation is considering live streaming your worship services in order to minimize contact, the following resources may be helpful:
ELCA – How to Stream Your Worship Service – A Starter Guide
Episcopal Diocese of San Diego – Live Streaming Resources
Epidemic Preparedness: An Opportunity to Cultivate an Online Worship Community (Caffeinated Church)
COVID-19 Lockdown: Creating Live-streamed Worship in 3 Days (HackingChristianity.net)
Using Zoom Video-Conferencing
Zoom video-conferencing app for meetings or small groups? If you’re new to Zoom and need some help getting started, below are some instructional videos to help you:
Resources for Schools and Childcare Facilities
The CDC has provided guidance for school setting that may be found here.
California Lutheran University’s “Ministry in Times of Crisis” Series
California Lutheran University is hosting a series of online gatherings for pastors, deacons, youth workers, church and faith community leaders relating to COVID-19.
These online gatherings are being recorded and may be found by going to https://www.callutheran.edu/mission-identity/congregational-relations/events/
Employment Development Department (EDD) Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Employment Development Department has provisions that may provide Disaster Unemployment Assistance during disasters even for those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. You may access information about this here.
We share the ELCA’s recommendations for churchwide staff members with you – wash your hands, stay home when you are sick, wear a mask if you have symptoms, and consult your medical provider when appropriate. Information will continue to be shared on our synod website (www.pacificasynod.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pacificasynod/).
We pray to you almighty God, in this time of need. You are our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Do not let us fail in the face of these events. Uphold us with your love, and give us the strength we need. Help us in our confusion, and guide our actions. Heal the hurt, console the bereaved and afflicted, protect the innocent and helpless, and deliver any who are still in peril; for the sake of your great mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (ELW Pastoral Care, pages 386-387)