This page contains all messages around our diocesan response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please also utilize the links to the below for worship in the midst of self-isolation, ongoing at-home formation, and more.
Blessings to you.
The Standing Committees of Eastern & Western Michigan
Messages from the Leadership
From Bishop Hougland & The Standing Committee
From Diocesan Leaders
April 29 – Senior Wardens Zoom Meetings
April 27 – Finance and Admin: Zoom Meeting, PPP Updates
April 21 – Finance and Admin: CPG Resource
March 25 – Notice for Finance & Administration
From the Presiding Bishop
The Presiding Bishop’s Word to the Church on the theology of Love.
The Presiding Bishop’s Word to the Church for Holy Week and Easter in support of online worship.
Habits of Grace Weekly Reflection from the Presiding Bishop.
The Presiding Bishop’s Sermon from Sunday, March 15th.
Coronavirus Resource Page from the Episcopal Church.
Live-streamed Worship on the Diocesan Facebook* Page:
- Sunday, March 15th at 10:30am – Morning Prayer
- Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm – Compline with Diocesan Leaders
- Mondays and Thursdays at 4pm – Litany of Healing with the Virtual Prayer List
*You do not need to have a Facebook account to watch the live-streamed videos. Just click the link at the scheduled time.
Spreadsheet of Online Offerings from across Eastern & Western Michigan.
For Individual Use:
Plan for Re-Entry for Great Lakes Episcopalians
The “Plan for Re-Entry for Great Lakes Episcopalians” articulates three phases for re-entry into our new normal. Currently, we are in Phase I and will remain in Phase I until further notice, pending further recommendations from public health experts and the State. When we are able to progress into Phase II, we will communicate the return date at least ten days ahead of the change.
ChurchNext free courses – Prayer and Worship in Our Homes – Learn More
- Everyday Spiritual Practices with Keith Anderson
- How to Pray with Christopher Martin
- Praying with Saints with Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck
- How to Pray Online with Karekin Yarian
- Praying the Anglican Rosary with Suzanne Edwards-Acton
Faith@Home – daily formation resources
Illustrated Children’s Ministry – free access to resources through the period of quarantine
Good Book Club: This Forward Movement initiative invites organizations of all kinds to read a particular book of the Bible throughout a liturgical season.
Grow Christians from Forward Movement is a great website to find inspiration for faith at home, including reflections, stories, images, and recipes from a myriad of Episcopalians, celebrating the presence of God throughout the Christian year.
This is just a sampling of a huge amount of resources out there in the wider church for ministry throughout quarantine. Join our Youth Ministry Resource Group on Facebook for more specific resources and mutual support.
Join our Resource Group on Facebook for ongoing discussions and support.
Weekly Zoom Check-In on Wednesdays at 1pm – Click to Zoom.
Request a Zoom Meeting for your parish or ministry.
For Finance & Administration
In this time of physical distance, please be mindful of your ongoing stewardship with your congregation.
To maintain consistent support for the congregation while under quarantine, encourage:
- Set up process for automatic ACH withdrawals
- Set up online giving platforms
- Encourage mailing in donations
While our buildings are closed, essential staff may need to visit the building for essential business including receiving mail, grounds check, counting, or more.
In case you are stopped by authorities, we recommend providing your essential staff a travel letter to indicate their purpose in going to the church building. This includes your clergy and lay staff in any travel from home to church building.
Clergy are recommended to follow physical distancing guidelines as much as is possible and to conduct pastoral care on a virtual basis. In the situation that it is not possible and a visit is necessary, clergy may request a letter from the Bishop indicating their licensure to operate in either diocese. We anticipate this may be helpful especially in a hospital situation. This letter does not replace the letter for travel to your church building.
This letter is not necessary if you already have a Clergy ID card.
Guidelines for Count Procedures during Church Closure and Social Distancing Mandates
During this difficult time of social distancing and church closure, we understand that some business still needs to carry on for the continued function of the church and its finances, but figuring out how to do that can be difficult. Therefore, if your church plans to continue making deposits while the church is closed, you should continue using the standard count procedure you have in place, with the following modifications:
- You should continue using two, non-related counters who rotate on a regular schedule.
- Preferably someone from the church office (not the bookkeeper) will come to the church and open the mail and put all checks (and cash if there is any) together in a safe, or safe place, to be counted by the counters. If possible, it would be good for this person to stamp, or write, “for deposit only” on each check at this point, as an additional control measure.
- At a later time, one counter would come into the church and do the initial count, fill out the count sheet, etc. and then leave the deposit, count sheet, etc. in the safe/safe place for the second counter.
- At another later time (preferably the same day as the first counter, if possible) the second counter would come to the church and double check the count and count sheet information.
- Each employee and each counter should wash his/her hands before and after opening the mail/performing the count, and if possible, sterilize the work area and instruments used to complete the count, so that it is safe for each person during the process.
It is important to follow all of the normal internal control processes for the safekeeping of both the funds, the church and the staff/counters, with the modification of not having more than one person in the building at a time.
Please contact Sara Philo, Financial Manager, in the Eastern Michigan diocesan office or Tammy Mazure, Finance and Benefits Administrator, in the Western Michigan diocesan office, with any questions regarding these guidelines.
Financial Assistance to Congregations
There is some assistance available to congregations from recent governmental action, the Church Pension Group, and the diocese. Click here to read a recent message.
We are planning several Zoom conversations for resource sharing and mutual support in various aspects of ministry over the next several weeks. If you have a particular topic of interest, please contact Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following conversations are currently scheduled:
All staff or volunteer children and youth ministers are invited to join our weekly check-in conversations facilitated by Eastern Michigan’s McKenzie Knill. We’ll talk tools, resources, and take time for supporting one another in our local mission.Additionally, all youth ministers (regardless of diocese) are invited to join our Youth Ministry Network Facebook Group for ongoing support throughout the week, this season and beyond.
All those charged with connecting with the congregation during separation are invited to join our weekly check-in conversations facilitated by Canon Katie Forsyth. We’ll talk tools, methods, and take time for supporting one another in our local mission.Additionally, all communicators are invited to join our local Episcopal Communicators Network Facebook Group for ongoing support throughout the week, this season and beyond.
All young people (middle schoolers and high schoolers) and their mentors are invited to gather together each week for checking in, devotionals, games, and Compline.
Liturgy Planning During Separation with the Rev. Canon Michael Spencer – March 20th
Preaching for a Livestream with the Rev. Tracie Little – March 25th
Liturgy Planning for Holy Week with the Rev. Canon Michael Spencer – March 31st
Stewardship during Pandemic with the Rev. Alan James – April 1st
Weekly Pub Theology with the Rev. Joel Turmo
Connecting with Diocesan Staff
The Diocesan Staff will be working on a remote basis. Please visit the staff page to get in touch.
The following are online opportunities to connect with staff members:
- The Rev. Mike Spencer, Canon to the Ordinary, will offer office hours on Mondays from 10-12pm. Click here to Zoom.
- Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking, will offer office hours on Fridays from 12-2pm. Click here to Zoom.
- McKenzie Knill, Facilitator of Youth and Young Adult Networks, will offer the following opportunities: