The past several weeks have been filled with a steady stream of new information and updated guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a brief overview of several of the recent communications from the Wisconsin Conference regarding COVID-19 and WI UM Churches.
Safer at Home and the WI UM Church
Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued a Safer at Home Order that went into effect on Wednesday, March 25. This order will remain in effect until 8:00am on Friday, April 24 or until a superseding order is issued.
Online Worship Services
This list of Wisconsin churches that are offering online worship services is being regularly updated. Churches can continue to submit their services to be added to the list.
Online Giving Support
For churches that don’t currently have electronic donation capability and would like to offer this as an option to their members, the Conference will offer the use of our VANCO online giving site and absorb the processing fees for the next 2 months. If you would like to have your church listed as an option, please contact TreasurerOffice@wisconsinumc.org or call 608-873-7320. Provide your church name as your members would know it and your GCNO (General Church Number). The Finance office will send the donations to your church within 2-3 weeks, with the donor identified.
General Conference to Move to 2021
The Commission on the General Conferencemet March 21, 2020 to determine next steps to take in setting a new date. The Commission made a determination that the General Conference will not meet in 2020 as originally planned and elected to work toward setting a date in 2021.
A wide variety of resources related to COVID-19 are available. Newly added resources include:
- UMCtraining.org – UMCOM offers a variety of online courses that can be done on your own time. There is a fee for some of the courses, but many are available at no cost.
- Stewardship of Presence Bible Study – This study was prepared by Rev. Dan Dick for a church to use during Lent. During this journey through the COVID-19 virus, it is a good resource for us to use at any time. Dan has offered this to the Conference for us to adapt and use in whatever way we choose
- GBHEM Online Resources: Keeping Your Ministry Connected - On this E-Resources page, the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry offers live online training opportunities, recorded webinars, downloadable ministry resources, videos, answers to frequently asked questions and more.
- UMCRM Virtual Day Camp – In response to recent events that have caused significant change in the lives of campers everywhere, United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries is offering Virtual Day Camp. Each day, campers can log in and follow a day camp session, exploring topics such as Spiritual Development, Nature Exploration, STEM, Music, Art, Social/Emotional Learning, Exercise, and more.