Coronavirus News and Resources

Virtual Worship

Stream worship, preaching, and teaching through social media and/or your church website. Encourage people to engage with your services this way. Have someone dedicated to monitoring the live chat to encourage further connection.

 

Video series with step by step instructions on going FB live with Dr. Jonathan Smith and Mr. Cameron Helwege:

--Episode 1: Lives Stream on a Budget 

--Instructions for using software to Live stream to Facebook

--Episode 2: Meetings & Ministry in a Virtual World

--Episode 3: Testing out Zoom

--If you need any help, please contact Rev. Dr. Jonathan Smith at 912-678-5631

or email jonathan.smith5@gmail.com.

--More episodes coming each day this week!

 

Taking Your Worship Online: A guide for beginners and everyone else

 

Instagram Live: Click here for instructions.

 

YouTube Live: Click here for instructions.

 

Outreach: Free Streaming 

 

Podcast: Becoming a Virtual Church with Rev. Ben Gosden & Molly Carlson 

 

Free coaching from Georgia UM Commission: If your church is exploring digital avenues and in need of some guidance,  email  design@umcommission.org. Donations made toward this free service will go directly to support their work with students.

 

Not ready to stream? Try videoing your sermon/teaching and posting it to social media or your church website. Include suggested discussion questions, spiritual disciplines, or personal reflection to help people respond.

 

Communication Tools

Instead of meeting for study or even committee work in person, try a conference call or video call. Along with email, there are also ways you can send out group messages.

 

Email Platform:

MailChimp
Constant Contact

 

Online Resources:

Google: Google is offering the enterprise version to G Suite and G Suite for Education users. This includes free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities like meetings with up to 250 participants per call and live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain. Read more here.
 

Microsoft: Microsoft is offering Teams for free. Teams is a collaboration tool with chat, video calling, personal and team file storage, and more. Read more here.
 

Slack: Slack is a collaboration app that already has a free version, but they are now offering webinars and one-on-one consultations to help you navigate your own transition to a remote workforce. Read more here.

Worship Resources

United Methodist Book of Worship: The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is granting permission to use and post online selected contents from the United Methodist Book of Worship (BOW). Read more here.

 

One License: One License is offering free licensing through April 15. They license hundred of music publishers, typically hymnals, choral arrangements and other traditional music, including our United Methodist Hymnal. You must have a Podcast / Streaming License to stream worship services that include music from their list of publishers. You can sign up for a new license or, if you already have an Annual Reprint License (only to print/project music or lyrics), you can add the Podcast / Streaming License to your account. Read more here.

 

CCLI: Although CCLI isn't offering any free services at this time, they are important to note here because they provide licensing for most contemporary music publishers who produce what you hear on the radio. You must have a Streaming License to stream worship services that include music from their list of publishers. Visit them here.

 

Outreach: Beginning March 20, Outreach Digital is offering a free solution for streaming your church services online, including chat, notes, and the Bible. This allows you to stream from your church's website without needing to use Facebook. Read more here

Children & Youth

Cokesbury: Cokesbury Kids is offering free, live, online, at-home worship services for the whole family. Gather your family around the computer for a child-centered time of singing, praying and listening. Register here.

 

Sermons4Kids: fun lectionary based lessons and instructions to use at home.

 

Illustrated Ministry

 

Family 6-week Devotional: Pandemic Hope 

 

Talking with Children about the Coronavirus

 

Self Care for Socially Distanced Youth Workers

Guidance for pastoring youth during the coronavirus

 

Managing Fear and Anxiety During a Health Pandemic

 

The Quarantined KidMin: Free Resource Center

 

Small Group Resources

  • Amplify Media: Cokesbury and Abingdon Press have launched a digital streaming service of their entire study library. You might experiment with a digital Bible study experience. Imagine: everyone streams the same Bible study video on their own time, and then comes together for a digital meet up. 

Right Now Media: A streaming library of Bible study videos for all ages.

Online Giving

A very practical concern for churches is how closure might affect this specific spiritual discipline. This is a great time to send reminders about all the ways your church can help disciples practice generosity: online giving, gifts by mail, stock donations, legacy gifts, text-to-give, etc. This is an ideal time to underscore that giving is not payment for services rendered. It is a Christian practice; an act of faith and devotion to God. 

 

Conference staff have been thinking of ways they can help local churches. The Administrative Services Office has created an online giving platform for churches to use if they don't already have online giving in place. If your church would like to use the platform or if you have questions about setting up online giving, email or call Dr. Derek McAleer (478-738-0048).

 

Samples of online giving platforms:

Articles:

 

Alive Together

  • Offer to pick up groceries for an older adult in your congregation or neighborhood. They may have anxiety or fear about being in public.

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  • Are you able to watch someone’s out-of-school child? Offer to help provide care for children whose parents need to work.
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  • Who in your congregation or community rely on school or other programs for meals or other food assistance that may be on hiatus? How can you offer to help?

There are many, many more ways we can continue to be safe and still care for others. Reach out via social media, text, or by phone and see how you can be a light for Christ.

 

From the Conference Advocacy Team:

 

What can churches do to help?

  • Be aware of those that may be unemployed now or have less wages because of partial and full shutdowns. Consider helping to make sure they have what they need. 
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  • Use Benevolence funding or other funding to help individuals with bills, medicine, etc., because they are not working. This includes those that are employees of the church that may not be working because worship services are suspended. 
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  • List resources available at your church and in the community in the bulletin, online, social media, and other publications and outlets.
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  • Allow staff in the church to work from home where applicable and, if hours are limited, still consider full pay for those staff members. 

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