Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,
There are signs of hope emerging. The number of people in the hospital and dying because of COVID-19 is declining. God is working through you and we are working together by staying home and social distancing to stamp out the virus. Let’s all continue to fight COVID-19 with prayer, social distancing and encouraging one another.
Our congregations continue to make progress in online worship, small groups and giving. In the last survey, 68% reported that worship attendance has increased over a year ago. That is amazing grace. In a time of social distancing, you have found ways to connect with people. Praise God!
Here are a couple of things we each need to work on this week.
Essential Actions and Updates for the Week of April 20
1. Action Required: Lead Pastors
Complete the survey by Wednesday noon. Why the survey? You’d be amazed by the rich information we receive and follow up on. We also can celebrate the victories and accomplishments along the way. We see where people need help and are able to connect to provide support and resources. We have hard decisions to make in the next few weeks. When should new appointments start? Are there any churches that need to go part time? Are there appointments that need to be changed? How can we best lead through this time? Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by noon on Wednesday. It is helping us be a better and stronger GNJ. Survey link here.
2. Action Required and Informational: Lead Pastors, SPRC and Church Council Chairs
Protocol for a pastor or pastoral family member who is sick with COVID-19. We have had eight clergy sick with COVID-19 and more than 10 family members. Clergy can find information about how to report and receive support during a time of illness by selecting this link here.
3. Action Recommended and Informational: Pastors, SPRC Chairs and Board of Ordained Ministry Members
Information and recommendations for clergy status changes and moves. A team of clergy and laity prepared materials for how to handle clergy status and moving procedures prior to a fall clergy executive session. Please review the draft of the interim guiding principles and the draft of the interim clergy status changes and provide feedback to your superintendent.
Draft of Interim Guiding Principles
Draft of Interim Clergy Status Changes
4. Informational: Clergy and SPRC Chairpersons
Resources for clergy care of mind, body and soul may be found here.
Together we are doing a great job during a time of crisis. It is your trust in God, the compassionate heart of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that is guiding us through this season. Thank you for your steadfast faithfulness.
The GNJ Leadership Team
Quick Links to items mentioned in this letter
Protocol for Reporting Illness
Resources for Clergy Spiritual and Emotional Health