Conectando Vecindarios

Conectando Vecindarios

Familias y Congregaciones preparadas

para la respuesta durante una pandemia viral (COVID-19) (Adaptado)


“Cada uno ponga al servicio de los demás el don que haya recibido, administrando fielmente la gracia de Dios en sus diversas formas..” — 1 Peter 4:10

El programa Conectando Vecindarios fue diseñado para preparar a nuestras iglesias para responder a desastres de todo tipo, incluyendo la emergencia que tenemos con el coronavirus actual. Esta guía de conectando nuestro vecindarios en primer lugar se enfoca en nosotros mismos, nuestras familias y nuestros hermanos/as de nuestra congregaciones.

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Primeros Pasos

Tome cuidado de usted mismo y de su familia. Entonces usted estará listo para ayudar a los demás.

No podemos ministrar eficazmente a los demás si no nos hemos asegurado de que nuestras familias estén bien y preparadas para cuidarse entre ellos.

  • Planifique y prepárese para la posibilidad de una auto-cuarentena. Establezca su propio plan de comunicación entre sus conocidos, amigos y familiares que incluya cómo se comunicarán entre cada uno de ustedes. Esto debe incluir medios alternativos de comunicación en caso de que las comunicaciones regulares se interrumpan o se sobrecarguen si la emergencia  con el virus empeora. Asigne otro miembro de la iglesia o vecino para que sea un contacto interino para los miembros de la familia si su plan de comunicación falla.
  • Tenga a mano un suministro para 14 días de alimentos, recetas medicas, medicamentos sin receta, necesidades básicas (es decir; necesidades personales, productos de higiene, suministros sanitarios, pañales y alimentos para mascotas). Consulte la lista del “Kit de supervivencia” de la Cruz Roja Americana en: https://redcross.org/gethelp/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html
  • Mantenga el tanque de gasolina de su vehículo al menos a la mitad.
  • Haga arreglos para la entrega de su correo postal si vive en un área donde su correo se encuentra en una ubicación central.
  • Haga arreglos para o dar seguimiento a miembros de la familia amigos que están en cuarentena.
  • Conozca la información de contacto de su medico primario.
  • Haga arreglos de transportación a un centro médico, si es necesario.

Congregaciones Preparadas

Congregaciones Preparadas

  • Cree un equipo de toma de decisiones entre el; (pastor, líder laico, adoración, finanzas y síndicos) que puedan tomar decisiones rápidamente.
  • Identifique un líder (que no sea el pastor) que coordine un equipo de voluntarios y sea responsable de la respuesta de la iglesia ante la emergencia de la pandemia.
  • Haga una lista de los recursos de la iglesia. Incluya recursos físicos y de comunicación, así como los dones y talentos de los miembros de la iglesia.
  • Establezca o use una red telefónica existente u otro método de conexión con los miembros de su congregación. Considere y adapte las preferencias y los medios de acceso tanto como sea posible. Pruebe este proceso para asegurarse de que todos los miembros regulares y asistentes frecuentes puedan ser contactados.
  • Haga una lista de sus miembros más vulnerables, personas confinadas en sus hogares y otras personas con necesidades especiales. Comuníquese con estas personas regularmente por teléfono (no confíe en mensajes de texto o correo electrónico) para asegurarse de que ellos estén bien y pregunte lo siguiente:
    • Pregúntale: ¿cómo se encuentran?
    • Solicite permiso a los miembros para compartir información según sea necesario.
    • ¿Tienen a alguien que les ayude, un cuidador u otra persona?
    • ¿Necesitan algo que no puedan conseguir por sí mismos?
    • ¿Utilizan un sistema de entrega de comestibles o el servicio de comidas sobre ruedas (“Meals-on-Wheels”), etc.?
    • ¿Necesitan alimentos, medicamentos recetados, etc.? No asuma que usted sabe lo que ellos necesitan y recuerde que pueden estar aislados debido al virus.
  • Identifique necesidades espirituales / emocionales para darle un seguimiento adicional.
  • Ministre espiritualmente a los miembros de la congregación que están en necesidad. Tenga en cuenta los ministros laicos, la ayuda del ministerio “Sthephen Ministry” y otros que tengan alguna capacitación para que le ayuden con el cuidado pastoral.
  • Use grupos pequeños existentes para satisfacer las necesidades de la congregación durante el período de la pandemia.
  • Establezca una estrategia de comunicación para mantener a los miembros informados sobre el estado de la emergencia, las necesidades de la congregación y las actividades y eventos programados o cancelados. Use los equipos existentes que ya están en su lugar para dar a conocer los mensajes. Para iglesias grandes, establezca un equipo de comunicaciones si es necesario.
  • Siga las recomendaciones de las autoridades de salud estatales y federales para reducir su riesgo de exposición.

Mientras planifica, se prepara y responde al coronavirus, recuerde que también estamos llamados a cuidar a nuestros vecinos. No dude en compartir este material con sus vecinos, con otras organizaciones religiosas y otras personas que puedan beneficiarse de esta información.

Recursos Adicionales

Si tiene preguntas sobre esta lista de verificación, necesita ayuda o desea una capacitación más profunda, comuníquese con:

Connecting Neighbors – Ready Families and Congregants

Connecting Neighbors

Ready Families and Congregants

Adapted for Response During a Viral Pandemic (COVID-19)


“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” — 1 Peter 4:10

The Connecting Neighbors program was designed to prepare our churches to respond to disasters of all types including the current coronavirus. These guidelines are focused on the first part of the Connecting Neighbors program — ourselves, families and fellow congregants.

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First Steps

Take care of yourself and your family. Then you will be ready to reach out to others

We cannot effectively minister to others if we have not ensured our families are safe and prepared to take care of each other.

  • Plan and prepare for the possibility of self-quarantine. Establish your own family, friends, and relatives communication plan that includes how you will communicate with each other. This should include alternative means of communicating should regular communications be interrupted or overloaded if the virus worsens. Have another church member or neighbor be an interim contact for family members if your communication plan fails.
  • Have a 14-day supply on hand of food, prescriptions, Over-the-counter medications, basic necessities (i.e. personal, hygiene products, sanitary supplies, diapers, pet food.) Refer to the American Red Cross “Survival Kit” list at: https://redcross.org/gethelp/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full.
  • Arrange for mail delivery if you live in an area where your mail is delivered to a central location.
  • Arrange for wellness checks by a family member or friend, if quarantined.
  • Know your medical provider’s contact information.
  • Arrange for transportation to a medical facility, if needed.

Ready Congregations

Ready Congregations

  • Create a decision-making team (pastor, lay leader, worship, finance, trustees?) that can make decisions quickly.
  • Identify a leader (other than the pastor) who will coordinate a team of volunteers and be responsible for the church’s response to the pandemic.
  • List the church’s resources. Include physical and communication resources as well as the gifts and talents of the church members.
  • Establish or use an existing “phone tree” or other method of connecting with congregants. Consider and adapt to preferences and accessibility concerns as much as possible. Test your process to make sure all your regular members and frequent attendees can be reached.
  • Make a list of your most vulnerable members, shut-ins, and others with special needs. Check in with these individuals regularly by phone (don’t rely on text or email) to make sure they are doing well and ask the following:
    • Ask how they’re doing —
    • Ask permission from members to share information as needed.
    • Do they have someone to help them — a care giver or someone else?
    • Do they need anything they can’t get for themselves?
    • Do they use a grocery delivery system or a meals-on-wheels service, etc.?
    • Do they need groceries, prescription medicines, etc.? Don’t assume you know what they need and remember they may be isolated because of the virus.
  • Identify spiritual/emotional needs for additional follow-up.
  • Minister spiritually to congregants in need. Consider Lay Ministers, Stephen Ministers and others who have some training in caring for others.
  • Use existing small groups to meet the needs of the congregation during the term of the pandemic.
  • Establish a communication strategy to keep members informed of the status of the disease, the needs of the congregation, and activities and events scheduled or canceled. Use existing teams already in place to carry the messages forward. For large churches, establish a communications team if necessary.
  • Continue to follow the recommendations of the state and federal health authorities to lower your risk of exposure.

As you plan, prepare and respond to the coronavirus, remember that we are also called to care for our neighbors. Please feel free to share this with your neighbors, with other faith-based organizations and others who may benefit from this information.

Additional Resources

If you have questions concerning this checklist, need assistance, or want more in-depth training please contact:

Case Study: How one church is applying disaster response protocols to love each other better

Story by Patrick Scriven

RENTON, Wash. — Like many churches in the Seattle area, Fairwood Community United Methodist Church had to adjust worship plans last weekend. With King County discouraging large group gatherings and encouraging persons vulnerable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to stay home through the end of March, it would have been easy to focus on what they couldn’t do.

Instead, in addition to moving some worship elements online, Fairwood Community UMC continued the work of applying disaster response practices to their planning for whatever might come next. Training developed by UMCOR called Connecting Neighbors helped to inform these efforts.

According to lay member Jim Truitt, the need to accelerate the church’s response got real when an active family shared that they were under self-quarantine, concerned that they might have COVID-19. 

Truitt, who also serves as Disaster Response Coordinator for the Greater Northwest Area, shared some of what they are doing to implement Connecting Neighbors curriculum in the church’s response. Both Truitt and Associate Pastor Carrie Bland have received training in the program, which is offered in both the Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences.

Responding to the immediate concern, the church has been in contact with the family under quarantine, offering support and meals as requested. Truitt shared that they “performed a contact search of everyone the family has been in contact with since exhibiting symptoms,” notifying those they identified and sharing the news with the congregation with a letter. They also cleaned every room of the church that the family visited. 

As encouraged by public health officials and United Methodist Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, the church has adopted new hygiene protocols for those entering and using their facility. Truitt shares that they are utilizing “the expertise of the infection control and medical personnel” in the congregation to define these protocols and to respond safely to requests for help.

Fairwood Community UMC is also compiling a list of its at-risk parishioners. That list includes members who are immunocompromised, are 60+ years old, have chosen not to venture out, live alone, and those we know who have traveled out of the country recently. They are using a phone tree to do wellness checks with those identified and have tasked their Congregational Care Committee to coordinate meals and needed transportation.

“For our congregation, it is becoming a pretty long list,” offered Rev. Bland. Because so many members meet one or more of the at-risk criteria, they are working to divide the list into groupings representing different levels of potential risk and need. 

Bland shared that the Congregational Care Committee has been at work for two years now, activating previously to support members during moments like last year’s “Snowpocalypse.” To adapt to the challenges posed by sheer numbers and the reality that some members don’t use or have access to email, they are looking at creating a “buddy system” to engage more members in care for one another.

Fairwood Community UMC is relying on Truitt to monitor emerging information about COVID-19 from trusted sources like the CDC, WHO, and their state and county health departments. He reviews any COVID-19-related communication the church issues, supporting church leadership, and ensuring that the church is following agreed-upon protocols. 

“A lot that comes out about the Coronavirus is physical,” shared Bland. “How are we as a society addressing the spiritual and emotional components of this situation?” 

For Bland, making sure that a holistic approach to health is addressed is one role she sees for the church in this situation, one it is well-positioned to take on. 

“We hope the congregation will realize there are great ways to care for each other in times like these that might carry forward.”


Patrick Scriven serves as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministry for the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church.