Ongoing Stories of Ministry during COVID-19
Each week, ADOTS will be publishing stories of connectedness and ministry from around the Diocese during this time of social distancing. Please share the ways your church is ministering with Rachel Moorman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mission Abbey, Chattanooga, TN
In this update from Canon Chris Sorensen, we see that the abundant “virtual” work the church is doing (reaching out by phone, text, email, and social media) is impacting online worship and maintaining or increasing community connectedness.
“We are live streaming our services. The attendance of those Livestreams is much larger than what we typically see in weekly worship. We believe this is an outreach opportunity. We are also doing virtual small groups. Hundreds of people are meeting virtually through Zoom and Google hangouts.
We have been reaching out to people who are disconnected from our church — people who have left the church over the years. We have been reaching out via text and phone calls, letting them know that we love them and care about them.”
All Saints, Peachtree City, GA
In this update on local and global ministry, one point from Dean Michael Fry illustrates how tithes and offerings are crucial to your local parish during this time.
Archbishop Foley says, “Many members will be out of work or lose income for the unforeseeable future so those of you who can give extra, please do so. Please remember that, even though you are not able to meet together for worship like a normal Sunday, your congregation’s and the diocese’s expenses continue. It is, therefore, very important that you continue to faithfully worship with your tithe and offerings to your local congregation. This can be done with mailing your check to the church, online giving through the website, or online giving through your bank.”
From Dean Michael Fry:
We went online for the first time this past weekend (4 Lent). Our parishioners were very grateful to be able to see their church, say their prayers and hear a sermon from one of their priests. We will be broadcasting mid-week services as well (Stations of the Cross, Compline, etc…)
Fr. Don is coordinating our pastoral care. We have started a phone tree and divided our telephone directory so that each of our Vestry members are calling a portion each week to share updates and check on needs. We also have a weekly Constant Contact email blast updating the parish.
Fr. Alan has organized an intercessory prayer team that prays during our service times and continues to bathe everything in prayer. We already have reports of parishioners whose income has been reduced or who have lost their jobs.
From Fr. Don Hutchens:
At All Saints we have joined with our mission partner in Rwanda, the Diocese of Kibungo and Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda to ensure the good news of Jesus continues to be proclaimed. They too are in lockdown mode and transportation very limited. We have underwritten radio broadcasts every Sunday for the next five months which will carry Bishop Emmanuel’s message to the community.
Our network of vestry members contacting members of the congregation has uncovered many prayer requests allowing them to be lifted up by many rather than just the one originating the supplication or partition. Individual prayer requests noted by vestry members on a Google spreadsheet are then communicated to our pastoral prayer team.
Visit the ADOTS Coronavirus Response Page for a list of diocesan livestreams.