COVID-19 Update #7

llinois South Conference COVID-19 Response UPDATE #7, April 27, 2020

To Illinois South Conference pastors, church leaders, and congregations:

Recommendation to Extend the Suspension of In-Person Worship until May 30, 2020

By consensus, the Executive Committee extended the recommendation to suspend in-person worship through May 30, 2020, matching the latest state guidelines. This date might still be revised. If it doesn’t, it would make May 31, Pentecost Sunday, a possible day for in-person worship.  We expect social-distancing guidelines will be in place whenever the shelter-in-place order is lifted.

We recommend every congregation start preparing for in-person worship for May 31, the first Sunday in June, or whenever seems appropriate in your area, as some of our counties have much higher rates of infection than others. In a few weeks, we will share a list of recommended practices for socially-distanced, faith-filled worship this summer.  You can begin gathering a small task force now to make plans for things like pew spacing, hymnal use, coffee time and other parts of your regular Sunday morning. Purchase gloves and hand sanitizer now, because of supply and delivery issues, so you’ll have them before you need them.  Start now asking folks in your churches to sew cloth masks for congregational use.

We may have a possible break in the Covid-19 clouds soon. Let us be ready for a little sunshine.

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.

O’Fallon Weekly News recently shared a story about how many in our local communities are showing support for the medical personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Their article also mentions one of our own, Tarrah Vaupel, a student pastor at St. John UCC in New Athens, who displays a lit red heart in front of her home. Click here for the story

Hoyleton Youth & Family Services, a mission partner of Illinois South Conference, recently asked for locally made face masks. Highland resident Jan Firth had already made several for a local hospital, and when she heard about the opportunity at Hoyleton, she jumped in. Jan involved her extended family by asking them to find elastic at local stores for her creations.  The Machine Shop in Highland donated 25 yards of elastic to the cause.  In short order, a Hoyleton representative picked up 70 handmade cloth face masks for their staff.  We are thankful to Jan and her family for supporting our friends at Hoyleton.

Thank you to these churches for their OCWM donations received last week. These donations continue to support all the work of the Conference.

Hookdale- St. Peter UCC

Hoyleton – Zion Evangelical UCC

And anonymous gifts from individuals

Helpful Information

  • Encourage folks to like the Illinois South Conference Facebook page. Current information is posted here weekly.

Worship Resources

  • We now have a worship resources section on the Conference website, with a link on the home page.

Rev. Shana Johnson will hold a meeting for pastors tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28 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