“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds…”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for faith communities

Shortly after news of the first person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in the U.S. circulated, Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky sent a letter to local churches and ministries encouraging them to take reasonable precautions.

With words of caution, in a pastoral letter on June 16 Bishop Elaine Stanovsky relaxed restrictions on in-person worship and building closures to allow transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of Reimagining Life Together for ministries that have developed approved plans. Part 1 of the Bishop’s 2020 Episcopal Address encouraged members to hold fast even as they use this moment to experiment and deepen spiritually.

This resource page is designed to support leaders as they make critical decisions in a situation that is quickly changing. We believe it essential that such decisions are made with the latest, fact-based information available to us.

Key Resources

Good, fact-based information is essential in a moving situation like this. We recommend the following national/international sources in addition to the regional resources linked below.

Reimagining Life Together

Guidelines for Reopening Buildings and Returning to In-Person Ministry
Linked below is a new document titled Reimagining Life Together. It aspires to provide guidance on the requirements and recommendations for local churches and ministry settings to reopen buildings and return to in-person ministry activities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Protect Public Health • Slow the Spread

United Methodists in the Greater Northwest are adjusting their lives to protect the health of the people in and served by our churches. Trusting the science, we are committing to do all we can to slow the spread of the virus and keep it from overwhelming the health care systems.

Resources offered to assist faith communities in developing plans and procedures to adapt to this changing situation. 

Innovate in Worship

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing us outside of our comfort zones in so many areas. Leaders are moving online when they can, embracing new tools to facilitate connection, nurture spiritual growth, and support the continuance of worship.