COVID-19 Update #5

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.

ISC Spirit

If you know of stories that show people being the church, please send it to 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.

Video with Lyrics                                                    Audio only

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:

Small Business Administration - Paycheck Protection Program

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.


Helpful Information

-        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 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.

Zoom link: Meeting ID: 708 889 0946


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