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Corona Virus Resources for Churches

 


Online Worship and Connectional Resources

Online Worship
A Beginner’s Guide to Online Worship from UM Communications  Read more here.
Facebook Stream with Brad Aycock on “How to Stay Connected”  Watch it here.
Facebook Live tutorials here and here
Guide to Livestreaming here
‘One License’ Offers Free Online Worship Streaming Learn more here
The United Methodist Publishing House Grants Temporary Permission for UM Book of Worship Content  read more here
How to Live Stream Legally here

Online Communion  - Online Communion and In Extremis

Small Groups
Making the Most of Online Small Groups here
Bible Study Resources Amplify Media and Bible Project

Conference Call Resources
Many church employees and lay leaders may be working from home or outside of the church. During this time, utilize the resources below to continue effective communication and hold meetings as normally as possible:
Zoom
Google Hangout
Microsoft Teams
CrowdCast
TechSoup

Links to UM Discipleship Ministry Resources during the Corona Virus Outbreak here

Suggestions for Weddings and Funerals shared by the Maumee Watershed District here.

Guidelines for Pastoral Care for Funerals here

Corona Virus information available in various languages here. 


Financial Resources

Paycheck Protection Program  Watch Bill Brownson's Facebook Live discussion about this here.  And read the FAQ's here.   And find reliable resources on this topic here.
 
The CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act was signed into law on March 27. Wespath's Legal Department worked with colleague lawyers in the Church Alliance to create a summary of some of the important provisions of the Act for stakeholders across The United Methodist Church.   Summary  The 840-page Act provides $2.2 trillion in relief for the US economy and your church may be among those eligible for financial support.  The benefit would be in the form of a loan that covers about ten weeks of pay, benefits and certain other expenses. If you maintain your payroll, the loan is forgiven. As experts work through details, here are ways you can prepare for this opportunity:

• Find out if your bank participates in the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. If not, get a referral to one that does.
• Gather your payroll records for the period of February 2019 to March 2020. Payroll and number of employees will be the primary basis of the amount you're eligible for. 
• If you plan to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, most of which should be forgiven, you'll need to complete this application and submit it your bank or a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender. SBA lenders will begin processing applications soon, perhaps as early as Friday, April 3.
CARES Act Q&A

Ministry Relief Loans
We find ourselves in unprecedented times. This may result in many local churches struggling to meet their financial obligations, which may include paying the pastor and staff. Therefore, The United Methodist Financial Credit Union is in the process of offering special “Ministry Relief Loans” to our local churches, active clergy, clergy spouses and employees of United Methodists organizations. These loans will be made at very favorable rates. In addition, for existing church loans we will consider extending an interest only payment option to allow time for churches to regain their financial footing. For more information on individual loan solutions please contact Terry Laws at 1-800-373-1059 ext. 15 or tlaws [at] umethodist.com For more information on church loan solutions please contact Rev. Rachel B. Miller at 614-551-1365 or at rmiller [at] umethodist.com.
 
Conference Board Allocates $500,000 to Aid Local Churches in Clergy Benefits
The West Ohio Conference Board of Pensions and Health Care Benefits passed an emergency plan to support clergy benefit payments for local churches in need. To support our local churches during this unprecedented time, the West Ohio Conference will provide benefit grants up to the lesser of 3 months of total benefit payments or $3,500, to help offset the cost of clergy benefits.  Benefits Grant Application   ACH Authorization formShould you have questions, please contact Mike Kremnitzer at mkremnitzer [at] wocumc.org.

Ideas for Church Financial Leaders read them here

Online Giving Options How to get started with online giving and suggested vendors here.

Missional Church Development Team 2020 Boost Grants
Has the Holy Spirit been whispering in your heart, stirring a fresh dream about how to cultivate new relationships with people outside your church that will open the possibility of connecting them to Jesus Christ? Are you longing to experiment with a new risk-taking faith venture that might require a small financial boost? West Ohio’s Missional Church Development Team (MCD) seeks to make new, one-time immediate “Boost Grants” of up to $5,000 available for churches longing to see new “Spirit-whispers” become realities — by investing remaining dollars reallocated from the 2020 MCD revitalization grant budget to help fuel your dream. Explore and complete/submit the short “Boost Grant” application form online before or by April 27, 2020. The MCD Team will complete Boost Grant award decisions no later than May 11, with release of Boost Grant funds immediately to the recipient churches. Is now your time to step forward?  Complete Boost Grants application here.

UMCM 2020 Local Church Grants Available 
Due to the recent Coronavirus Pandemic, Community Ministries is offering up to $300 in emergency grant funding, available for Capitol Area District Churches’ mission outreach, to help with added demands on programs focused on meeting the needs of families in the immediate community.  An example of a Missional Emergency Grant would be offering additional brown bag lunches each week, doing an emergency health care pantry for senior citizens, purchasing to-go containers for your weekly community meals, offering daytime snack packs for kids at home, buying books to distribute to school age kids, etc.  These grants are specifically targeted toward missions directly working to assist families under hardship during this crisis. To apply, complete a grant application (below) for the missional need for which you are requesting funds.  Grant applications will be reviewed and voted on by the UMCM Local Outreach Support Committee, based on the merit of the request as it relates to the current Coronavirus Pandemic.  Funds will be disbursed on a timely basis.  Contact Karen Cook kcook [at] wocumc.org or Ginny Shimrock, gshimrock [at] wocumc.org with any questions.

GBHEM Offers Student Loan Relief
GBHEM is aiding student loan borrowers whose income has been impacted as a result of the pandemic. Borrowers currently in repayment may request a payment suspension for three months. Interest will accrue during the payment suspension once the request has been verified by GBHEM. Borrowers may pay interest or partial payments at any time. The payment suspension will not affect future deferment requests.  Borrowers may emailumloans [at] gbhem.org"> umloans [at] gbhem.org to ask for a payment suspension request form. Payment suspension request forms must be completed and signed by both borrower and cosigner (electronic signatures accepted) by April 15, 2020. GBHEM may in its sole discretion, discontinue taking new applications for payment suspension at any time without notice.
 

Caring for Our Pastors

COVID-19 Testing and Care Benefits Through Anthem
The Conference will waive members' cost share, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This includes fees for the in-network visit associated with COVID-19 testing whether it takes place at a doctor's office, urgent care center or emergency department. If an in-network provider isn't available, Anthem will work with you to make sure you are covered. *You must be on the Conference health plan through Anthem.

Telehealth Available We recommend you use telehealth when possible to help prevent the spread of infection and improve access to care. Anthem's telehealth provider, LiveHealth Online, is a safe and effective way for you to receive medical guidance related to COVID-19 from your home using a smartphone, tablet or computer with a web cam. To promote the use of telehealth services, the Conference is waiving your cost shares for LiveHealth Online visits and provider telehealth visits for next 90 days. With LiveHealth Online you can have a private video visit on your smart phone, tablet or computer. This is a service of Anthem, the conference health care program. Anthem LiveHealth Online  *You must be on the Conference health plan through Anthem.

Sydney Mobile App Evaluates Symptoms, Refills Medications
Check symptoms and get doctor visits from home: You can download the free for a quick and easy way to evaluate symptoms. You can also connect with a doctor through a Virtual Care text session right from your smartphone. The doctor you connect with can evaluate your symptoms, help understand whether you're at risk for COVID-19, and let you know whether you need to visit a local health care provider in person for COVID-19 testing. Sydney Care is available to download now on Android or iOS. This app should accompany the Sydney Health or Engage benefits app. Coronavirus Assessment functionality is in development and expected to be available within the next week. Early prescription refill limits will be relaxed for those who would like to receive a 30-day supply of maintenance medications. Sydney App *You must be on the Conference health plan through Anthem.

Mental Health Professionals Available
The West Ohio Conference, in partnership with OhioHealth, offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide short-term, mental health support. This no cost, confidential program will provide up to six visits (in person) per person each calendar year. Call (614) 566.3348 or (800) 992.8533, or email EAP [at] ohiohealth.com " style="letter-spacing: 0px;">EAP [at] ohiohealth.com Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. *Certified lay ministers, pastors appointed to a local church, clergy appointed to extension ministry and serving on Conference and District staffs, as well as lay Conference and District staff, and dependents, are eligible to participate.
 

Resources for your Congregations

Resources for Franklin County Families here

Franklin County Food and Utility Company Resources here

Ohio unemployment information here