Illinois South Conference COVID-19 Response UPDATE #5, April 13, 2020
To Illinois South Conference pastors, church leaders, and congregations: Keep Practicing Social Distancing
There are confirmed COVID-19 cases in all 12 of the counties where ISC churches are
located, and we know of people in our Conference who are now fighting the virus.
Practices to avoid right now:
- Visiting anyone in person, not even if they’re ill, and especially if there’s been a recent death. Only connect face-to-face with those you live with; call or connect online with everyone else.
- Encouraging people to park and talk from open windows or sit in spaced-out chairs.
- Doing drive-through communion or blessings.
- Asking musicians, or anyone else, to come to the church building.
- Gathering in a group, even if it’s under 10 people, and even if it’s outside.
Pastors are working very hard right now, reinventing worship online, finding safe ways to provide pastoral care, and just helping keep congregations connected. A pastor’s job is always stressful, and that’s especially true now. Thank a pastor for their dedication and effort this week as part of your contribution to the common good.
If you know of stories that show people being the church, please send it to ISCspirit@iscucc.org. Share the stories that are warming your heart. #ISCspirit.
Thank you to these churches for their OCWM donations received in recent weeks. It’s a critical time for all our congregations, our Conference, and especially DuBois Center. These donations continue to support all the work of the Conference, from search and call processes that don’t stop because of a virus, all the way to horses that still need to be fed and cared for daily.
Belleville- Christ UCC
Carbondale- Church of the Good Shepherd
Centralia- St. Peter UCC
Dupo- Christ UCC
Fairview Heights- St. John UCC
Hamel- Immanuel UCC
Marion- Zion UCC
O’Fallon- O’Fallon UCC
Okawville- St. Peter UCC
St. Jacob- St. Jacob UCC
Trenton- St. John UCC
Waterloo- St. Paul UCC
Nature Photography Retreat to be Rescheduled
The Nature Photography Retreat planned for May 1-2 has been suspended by the Executive Committee, to be rescheduled at a later date. Even if the shelter-in-place order were to end
on April 30, it would be impossible to have a successful event the very next day. This Green DuBois retreat will return at a later date.
National Youth Event Has Been Postponed
The UCC National Youth Event has been postponed until the summer of 2022. It will be held at Purdue University in Indiana, as previously designed. Refunds will be issued in the next couple of weeks for registrations that were already sent it.
ISC Easter Service is Still Available
The beautiful ISC Easter service, including a virtual choir from across the Conference, is still available online. You are welcome to use it as part of your congregational worship experience.
Paycheck Protection Program, part of the national stimulus program
If you have not applied to the Paycheck Protection Program but think you might need to, there’s still time. Many banks were not fully ready to accept applications last week. Contact the bank you normally do business with about applying for this loan through the Small Business Administration. Go here to learn more:
It is strongly recommended by the United Church of Christ and the Executive Committee of the Conference that anyone exploring this program consider it a loan to be repaid, and not a debt that will be forgiven. Estimate your needs accurately and conservatively before applying, and understand the terms of repayment.
- Pastors everywhere have gracefully adapted to the initial challenges of recording and sharing worship. Now, many are looking to improve their online experiences, and they are discovering halo lights. These are simply rings of light on a boom stand that you can adjust so you have better lighting on your face.
If this is something you’re interested in, several kinds can be found on Amazon under “halo light” or “ring light.” And, if you designate the Illinois South Conference through the Amazon Smile program, a small percentage of all your purchases will go to the Conference. Go to smile.amazon.com and select Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ as your charity, and .5% of your future purchases will automatically be donated to the Conference, without costing you anything.
Rev. Shana Johnson will hold a meeting for pastors tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14 at 10 am.
To dial in:
+1 312 626 6799 US
Meeting ID: 708 889 0946
Together in Christ’s ministry with you,
Dr. Jill Baker, Conference Moderator
Rev. Christy Eckert, Conference Vice-Moderator
Mr. Dwight Asselmeier, Conference Treasurer
Rev. Ivan Horn, Conference Secretary
Rev. Shana Johnson, IL South Conference Minister
Rev. Rosemary Captain
Ms. Virginia Ilch
Rev. R.J. Morgan
Rev. Mike Southcombe
Ms. Barbara VanAusdall