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Coronavirus Resources

Handwashing

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: Illinois Department of Health.

***Due to rapidly changing information, check back to this page regularly for updated resources.***

Sources for helpful and accurate information:

Worship

  • In-person worship services are suspended until further notice, including Holy Week and Easter. Read more from the Bishop. Small Groups with 10 or more attendees should cancel events per guidelines from the White House COVID-19 task force. Drive-thru communion and parking lot services are discouraged and do not comply with the Illinois "stay-at-home" guidelines.
  • Consider livestreaming or Facebook live or Instagram to reach those who are homebound. Remember copyright restrictions. One License is offering gratis license options through April 15. Click to learn more. Also, consider using digital bulletins on cell phones and tablets, in worship services, or engage using YouVersion Events through the Bible App. For helpful online worship planning, click here.
  • Online Giving: Click here for a list of electronic giving services. Consider adding a donate button to your Facebook page. Idea: Mail and supply self-addressed offering envelopes for those who may be uncomfortable with online giving.
  • Click here for a list of NIC churches offering livestreaming services.

How to help

The United Methodist Church, through UMCOR, has been helping with the crisis in China since early February when the United Methodist agency issued an emergency grant to an organization working to limit the spread of Coronavirus in China. Funding for all continued assistance is being provided through UMCOR’s Global Health fund. Learn more, including how to give to Advance #3021770, at Advance.umcor.org

Local Ministry

Health officials say the homeless are at a double risk for the coronavirus. The Night Ministry, which provides housing, health care, outreach, spiritual care, and social services to adults and youth struggling with homelessness and poverty, is working to distribute information to all of their clients about the facts of COVID-19. They're asking for donations of the following items:

1) Sanitizing items: Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant wipes, Soap
2) Food: sandwiches or other ready-to-eat meals, tuna-cracker packs, peanut butter crackers, granola bars, bananas, water bottles
3) Protective gear: Disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, masks

If you would like to help, contact Gross at gregory@thenightministry.org or 773.506.6021.

Donations may be sent or dropped off Monday-Fridays, during business hours:
The Night Ministry
c/o Edgewater Presbyterian Church
1020 W Bryn Mawr 
Chicago, IL 60660

My Block, My Hood, My City is collecting disinfectant supplies to pass out to people who are elderly or who have disabilities.

Caring for Elderly and Sick

To continue to provide spiritual care for those who are homebound, in nursing homes, long term facilities, and hospitals:

  • Call all shut-ins and nursing home folks to check in and let them know they are not alone.
  • Ask volunteers to send greeting cards each week to them so they are connected.
  • Invite them to watch our services online.
  • Continue hospital visits until it's no longer restricted.  
  • Visiting COVID-19 infected persons is not possible at this point. Assign a shut-in/nursing home person to a church member who could call each week.
  • Consider ways to deliver food and supplies to the elderly and those who are sick at home. 

Volunteer Mission Trips

As COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, continues to spread and affect communities all over the world, the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission leaders in the North Central Jurisdiction encourage all scheduled volunteer teams to take the following precautions:

  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control website, cdc.gov, for specific information regarding the Coronavirus and how it may affect communities you volunteer with. If traveling abroad, visit the State Department website as well for travel warnings. Note that within any country, regions may be restricted while other parts of the country are open.
  • If flying, check with airlines to inquire about any new heightened health measures, as well as cancellations, due to COVID-19.
  • For teams that have purchased insurance, international or domestic, through any jurisdiction UMVIM, you may receive a notification if there is any change in coverage due to the threat of the Coronavirus. Connect with your jurisdiction coordinator with any questions or concerns.
  • When traveling, or at home, be sure to practice basic hygiene, including thoroughly washing your hands and/or using hand sanitizer.
  • If there are any new developments that may affect volunteers, they will be in touch with any teams and volunteers that may be affected via email, website, and Facebook.


And from the Wellness Office of Global Ministries:

Consideration at this point should also be for the ability of those traveling, to return home. There is still travel going on throughout the US with relative ease. The concern will be for those even traveling in the US, for example, not to be able to return home due to a State decision to close an airport or reduce the number of flights in or out of a given airport.

During this time of heightened awareness and preventive/containment planning for the spread of the disease, we will be subject to making decisions that come as a result of other corporate or government decisions, not just our own.

  
 

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