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Congregational Vitality

Presbyterians reach out, find ways to minister to older adults

Known for their creativity and their ability to improvise, pastors and church educators are passing along what they’re learning about how to reach and minister to the most senior members of PC(USA) congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastoring in a pandemic: ways to care for your church and yourself

Usually open wide during this season of Lent and Easter, church doors are now closed and locked and signs are posted, requesting people not enter. The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down, separating friends, families and faith communities. Social distancing is the new normal and church congregations are apart. How do we worship when we can’t be together? How do we fellowship? How do we minister? How can we offer pastoral care?

Hosannas and honks

Where there’s a will, there’s a driveway. And although this year’s Palm Sunday festival procession into an “upper parking lot” more closely resembled a line at a carwash than a celebration of worship, exigent circumstances call for extreme creativity, imagination and grace. And honks over Hosannas.   

‘People delight in the feeling of making a difference’

Leaders of worshiping communities may be hesitant as they seek to bolster funding during a pandemic. But there are ways to do that by inviting people to do what they want to do anyway, the Revs. Jon Moore and Princeton Abaraoha told about 40 people participating in a Thursday webinar “Funding your Ministry in a Time of Crisis,” put on by 1001 New Worshiping Communities.

‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed’

For a Zoom gathering of about 65 people ready to hear Wednesday about doing intentional, authentic evangelism in the time of a pandemic, the director of Theology, Formation & Evangelism, the Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III, looked to one of his favorite biblical texts in Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.”

Online Easter celebration to be released April 9

Dressed in the white robes of Easter, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II and the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett — together with remote appearances by the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly — leave little doubt in a worship video set for release April 9 that the good news of Christ’s resurrection transcends the despair, economic deprivation and isolation brought on by the coronavirus.

Churches can tap into their share of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act

Churches and other nonprofit organizations are eligible for their portion of the $350 billion in aid, the same as small businesses, as part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress last week and signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday.