The general ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are working together to support congregations through the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay connected for the most recent news and updates:
NBA XPLOR announces hiatus for 2020-21 program year
After considerable discernment, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) has made the difficult decision to place our young adult residential program, NBA XPLOR, on hiatus for the 2020-21 program year. Through analysis, consultation, and prayer, NBA understands there are many unpredictable variables in hosting a residential program in these uncertain times. Considering NBA’s vision of creating communities of compassion and care, we believe that our Residents, Host Teams, and the NBA staff are best served by placing the program on hiatus for the 2020-21 program year.
Blog post of interest: The Coming Pastoral Crash (June 25, 2020)
Re-opening considerations and resources
- NY Times report on virus transmission on surfaces (May 29, 2020)
- Insurance Board guidelines for opening (May 6, 2020)
- Thom Rainer’s thoughts: Your church is now a blank slate (May 1, 2020) link provided by the Northern California/Nevada region
- Small churches and re-opening our doors by Sarah Nave Fisher (April 29, 2020)
- Video: Unitarian pastor Jake Morrill of Oak Ridge, TN, produced this video on how to come back together (April 28, 2020) transcript link provided by the North Carolina region
- Questions to consider provided by the Nebraska region (April 27, 2020)
- Sanitizing congregational spaces provided by the Christian Church in the Southwest region (March 18, 2020)
Are U.S. churches eligible for assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently signed into law?
The financial ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have prepared summaries of key components of the first CARES ACT. You can access these documents here.
There are two loan programs included in the CARES Act for which churches may be eligible. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorizes mostly forgivable loans to assist with payroll expenses. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to organizations who have suffered economic loss as a result of COVID-19.
Disciples Church Extension Fund is offering a service to assist congregations and other Disciples ministries in applying for a PPP loan. The service will help Disciples ministries to gather the required information and complete the application form, at no cost to the congregation. Learn more and request assistance here.
Congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who are listed in the Yearbook are covered under the denomination’s 501(c)3 non-profit status. Requests for 501(c)3 documentation can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can the denomination provide any support for congregations who have been financially impacted by COVID-19?
There are a variety of ways congregations can access financial support:
To help Disciples congregations minimize the impact of the coronavirus on their ministries, Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) is offering a unique suite of loan products especially designed to meet borrowing needs during these uncertain times. Call us 1-800-274-1883 or contact your DCEF Building and Capital Services Advisor. Find out how we can help your church stay healthy despite the pandemic through emergency, short-term financing, including for operational purposes.
National Benevolent Association is providing grant funding to eligible Disciples-related health and social service ministries. Funds can be used for providing essential needs during the pandemic, new projects in response to COVID-19, or operational expenses to provide continuity of care. Read more and find out how to apply here.
Many regional ministries are providing some funding for churches in their regions to enhance their technical capabilities. Congregations should contact their regional office for more information.
Is there any financial support for pastors?
The Pension Fund of the Christian Church offers emergency aid for unforeseen medical expenses for pastors through ministerial relief, and offers a disaster relief grant (in partnership with Week of Compassion) for pastors who have been infected with COVID-19 and whose congregations can’t continue to pay them. For more information, contact Matt Rosine at email@example.com or call 866-495-7322.
In addition, Pension Fund provides financial coaching through Your Money Line and Pension Fund dues can be deferred for up to 6 months without members becoming inactive and losing benefits.
What about the offering?
Not meeting in person doesn’t mean people can’t give. The Center for Faith and Giving offers these FAQs about electronic giving, particularly for churches just getting started, as well as these best practices for stewardship in a time of crisis.
What other ministry resources are available?
General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens is live on Facebook May 6 offering prayers for the church and the world. She will continue each Wednesday at noon EST May 13-27 at her new Facebook page. (May 4, 2020)
Links to a variety of mental health and trauma resources compiled by Week of Compassion, National Benevolent Association and Disciples Home Missions (April 27, 2020)
Ideas and resources for worshiping virtually can be found here, including tips for livestreaming, music licensing, prayers, and more.
Disciples Home Missions has provided a number of resources for ministry with children, youth, and families.