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Updated Thursday, July 2
(New Liturgical Resources Added to Phase-In Resources, Information on COVID-19 and Music Added to Health Resources)

The following page contains requirements, recommendations, and resources for churches in the Diocese of Olympia put together by the Office of the Bishop as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We take these actions for the common good, to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.

As of June 25:

  • Churches in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties are considered to be in Phase III and are eligible to proceed as directed by the diocesan phase-in plan for Phase III and the newly modified requirements from the Office of the Governor.
  • Churches in Clallum, Clark, Cowlitz, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties are considered to be in Phase II and are eligible to proceed as directed by the diocesan phase-in plan for Phase II and the newly modified requirements from the Office of the Governor.
  • Please consult with your local church to find out where they are on their phase-in plan, as some churches will be phasing into in-person services at a slower rate than their current phase.
  • The Office of the Bishop will remain closed to the public.

THE DIOCESE OF OLYMPIA’S PHASE-IN PLAN

RELIGIOUS AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATION COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS (From the Office of the Governor – Updated June 18)

Requirements and Recommendations

Please see the Diocesan Phase-In Plan for all requirements and recommendations, based on your congregation’s current phase.

Resources

The following resources have gathered for use by churches across the diocese.

  • Liturgical Resources
    • At-Home Holy Week Resources: The Rev. Josephine Robertson of All Saints, Bellevue and the Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews of St. Hilda St. Patrick Edmonds created this complete pray-at-home Triduum.
    • The Electronic Campfire: Creative storytelling versions of the five Old Testament narratives used during the Triduum, developed by the Rev. Jim Friedrich.
  • Online Giving and Stewardship
    • Financial Recommendations and Resources: This document was compiled by the Joint Finance Panel and members of your diocesan staff. There are diocesan, state, and federal resources, as well as resources from Church Pension Group.
    • Options for Online Giving: The Office of the Bishop has compiled this list of options for online giving portals that might be used for your church during this current public health crisis.
  • Maintaining Community
    • Stay Connected. Stay Church. Take Care of Each Other: The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton reflects on how to continue developing your community of faith in the midst of the time of crisis.
    • Staying Church, On-Screen: The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton reflects on ways to adjust our liturgical practices to care for our communities at home while we live-stream our services.
    • Buddy Groups: The Rev. Shelley Fayette of Christ Church, Seattle and the Rev. Canon Alissa Newton of St. Columba, Kent have created “Buddy Groups” for their congregations to help their members remain connected during this season of increased isolation.
    • Connection in the Midst of an Epidemic: Episcopal Relief & Development has created a guide to staying connected with your community in the midst of an epidemic.
    • Virtual Community: Emmanuel, Mercer Island has created some virtual community opportunities for their parishioners during this time of social distancing.
  • Decision-Making
    • Priorities and Guidelines: The Rev. Eric Stelle and the community of St. John, Gig Harbor have created a document  to help guide their decision-making in regards to the worship, meetings, and ministries of their community.
  • Faith Formation: All-Ages
    • Faith @ Home: Faith @ Home is a year-round weekly email includes four separate lectionary based reflections and prompts for families (however that is defined) and friend groups. During this time of more people being at home, Faith @ Home is working on a new program to provide daily resources for all people to stay engaged while being at home.
    • Illustrated Ministries: Illustrated Ministries creates illustrated resources for the church and the home, encouraging creativity and active engagement with faith. They are currently releasing free materials for parents and children staying home here.
    • Household Bible Reading with Lectio Divine: This resource introduces families and small groups to the practice of studying the Bible using Lectio Divina. “Sometimes the Bible can be confusing and difficult to understand. With Lectio Divina we give ourselves permission to let the Bible be what it is. Questions will undoubtedly surface. If you like, search for the answers. Seek out conversations. Or simply let the questions be.”
    • 3 Free Prayer Coloring Pages
    • Traci Smith:  Traci has curated a creative list of ideas for ministering and forming faith in these times. Check them out for inspiration.
    • eFormation: Virginia Theological Seminary’s eformation page has info and support for equipping you for digital ministries.
    • Building Faith: Virginia Theological Seminary’s  Building Faith has articles with resources and ideas for faith formation of all ages.
  • Faith Formation: Children and Families
    • Blessing Children in the Home: This is a simple practice for reminding children how loved they are. An easy thing to do each night now and to continue afterwards.
    • Grow Christians: This resource from Forward Movement is a great website to find inspiration for faith at home, describing itself as “striving to create an online community of discipleship focused on the practical details of life at home.” It includes reflections, stories, images, and recipes from diverse Episcopalians, celebrating the presence of God throughout the Christian year.
    • Candle Walk: An online bedtime story book that is a compline for our youngest members (free until 4/15/2020).
    • Rows of Sharon: This is a great site with multiple resources and ideas for faith formation.
    • FORMA Facebook Group: Join the FORMA Facebook Group for Christian Educators and follow all the great ideas and work being done by other churches around the country! Be inspired.
    • Helping Children Deal with Anxiety: This particular resource helps parents talk with their children about the changes happening in their places of worship.
  • Faith Formation: Youth
    • Youth Ministry Connection: Our Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, Denise Brumbaugh, has put together a set of resources for those involved in youth ministry to stay connected with each other and their youth, as well as some ways for youth across the diocese to say connected with each other.
  • Faith Formation: Adults
    • The Book of Common Prayer: This is a complete online version of the Book of Common Prayer.
    • Intentional Prayer Walk: Individuals are invited to take prayer walks in their neighborhood. This is a time of intentional prayer for our neighbors. We invite you to visit, stop, and pray for those places and people who we encounter on a regular basis. Jesus is in your neighborhood, so join him.
    • Walk a Labyrinth: You can do this in your neighborhood or at your church if you have one. Here is a link to the labyrinth locator and here is a link to a guided labyrinth walk for Lent.
    • A Morning at the Office podcast: An Episcopal Morning Prayer Podcast
    • Pray as You Go: An online portal (or app) to pray the scriptures. Pray as You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time. A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection. It’s aim is to help you to become more aware of God’s presence in your life, listen to and reflect on God’s word, and grow in your relationship with God.
    • Daily Prayer: This site offers the daily selections from Forward Day by Day, a liturgical calendar, and more resources to strengthen your faith and heart.
    • Episcopal Church Prayer Wall: Pray with us. Pray along with our community… or submit your own.
COVID-19: Requirements, Recommendations, and Resources

2 thoughts on “COVID-19: Requirements, Recommendations, and Resources

  • May 23, 2020 at 8:14 am
    Permalink

    This is not the current set of guidelines. Please update so that members of the congregation are not confused. Thanks!

    Reply
    • May 23, 2020 at 3:26 pm
      Permalink

      It is found under Important Diocesan Information – A Guide for Gathering in Person: The Diocese of Olympia’s Phased-In Plan for Resuming In-Person Worship and Activities

      Reply

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