Disciples News Service

Coordinating and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak

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I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1-2

Dear Church –  

No doubt there are those who have concerns and anxiety about the coronavirus as it continues to spread. We may not yet know the extent to which the disease will affect the United States and Canada but with prevention efforts and timely responses, the impact on our congregations and communities can be reduced. 

We are grateful for Disciples congregations that are being proactive in planning how to care for their members and communities. Resources for congregational preparedness are available here. We will continue to update this page with additional resources and information about the Church’s response.

Information is our greatest resource as we make our plans and preparations. Accurate information about the virus can help calm anxieties and correct misinformation. Prevention information can help protect people and limit the transmission of the virus. Even when an outbreak begins, sharing information enables more timely and effective responses.

Week of Compassion and the General Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are here to assist and support congregations in the event of an outbreak affecting your community. As this situation is highly dynamic, we are assessing what resources are available across the Church, working closely with our governmental and ecumenical partners, and developing emergency plans to help congregations respond. 

To be most effective, we need to know where Disciples are affected.  The best way to help us assist you is to notify Week of Compassion quickly when someone within your congregation or immediate community is affected. We ask that you do not share names or other personal information to respect pastoral boundaries and patient confidentiality. 

If cases are confirmed in your community, especially individuals connected to your church, please contact Week of Compassion by email info@weekofcompassion.org or phone/text 203-772-8597.

We continue in prayer with you, for our neighbors affected by this virus, and for all who are working to provide care. Together, our wider Church can serve as a resource to our local communities and serve our neighbors in need during this time. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Great Healer, 

Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President
Vy Nguyen, Executive Director, Week of Compassion

2 Responses to “Coordinating and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak”

  1. Pat Grate:

    CNN has just posted that two experts, speaking for themselves, have recommended that those over 60 or are immuno-compromised should avoid crowed areas, including religious services. This is posted under the Live Updates section.

    Pat Grate

  2. Paul Turner:

    During the Ebola Outbreak in 2018, The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo had congregants come to the front of the church to wash hands and receive sanitizer before taking the emblems during communion. The cups were immediately discarded after partaking. More importantly the new practice reinforced the message of vigilance, and the spread ceased after three months.