Expanding Our COVID-19 Resource Roundup Focus

Last month it felt like many of our churches and leaders were finding their legs again. They had pivoted to various creative ministry avenues during the COVID-19 lockdowns. (Pivot and unprecedented are probably in the running for the word of the year.) Everyone was making plans for post-COVID-19 recovery and phased regathering.

  • How would we meet the needs left in the wake of COVID-19?
  • How would we navigate a potential second wave?
  • Would schools open back up?
  • What would the summer vacation season look like?

These questions were all front of mind throughout most of May.

But then the video was released of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota. The national focus on COVID-19 and COVID-19 recovery shifted overnight. Now, there have been a variety of responses to this tragedy and responses to those responses. This has added new layers of complexity for ministry and mission as we begin the summer. We are including some key resources on these issues as part of our COVID-19 Resource Roundup this week because they are so important for pastoral awareness.

Ongoing Responses to Death of George Floyd

  • Call to Prayer – Archbishop Foley Beach has called the ACNA to a week of prayer and fasting for the variety of challenges we are facing right now in North America. Read his letter to the Province. The week of prayer and fasting concludes this Wednesday, June 10.
  • Public Statements – Two different letters have been produced by ACNA leaders. There is a Bishops letter concerning the death of George Floyd and so many others authored by several ACNA Bishops. Anglican Compass published a letter to clergy and invited people to sign the letter. Within a week there have been almost 1000 signatures (fairly evenly distributed between clergy and laity).
  • Webinar Conversation – Last week, Anglican Compass hosted a Roundtable Discussion on Race, Justice, and Social Unrest featuring several leaders from across the Province. (Recording now available)
  • Q & A – Ed Stetzer has a multi-part interview series with Canon Esau McCaulley. We recommend this long-form interview that discusses the key issues and models some of the questions that many are asking right now.
  • Arrabon – Many Anglican leaders have been exploring a ministry focused on reconciliation called Arrabon. Here is a video interview the Leaderworks staff team did with Arrabon several years ago. Also, check out this interview conversation between W. David O. Taylor and their director, David Bailey.

Pastoral Response to the Initial Aftermath of COVID-19

  • Public Gathering for ProtestsPublic health officials are worried that the protests following the death of George Floyd will lead to an increase in COVID-19 infections. This comes as a time when many people are deeply conflicted about the right way forward in COVID-19 recovery and weary of safety precautions.
  • Dashboard Summary – We want to keep the US News & World Report Information Hub on your radar. It tracks national and global statistics regarding infections, death, and unemployment.
  • Mental Health Impact – articles and resources are beginning to emerge about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health issues. Psychology Today has a short article asking if we are seeing a post COVID-19 suicide epidemic. Pastoral leaders need to keep all of this in mind for mission and ministry ahead.
  • Who is being affected? The CDC has issued some initial insights on the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority groups and the “disproportionate burden of illness and death.” Here is a related article about the impact on immigrant populations and ways for the church to help right now.
  • How are you responding? What is our pastoral response to the rising challenges of financial need, unemployment, and mental health issues? If you have something working on the ground, please share it with us.

Ministry and Leadership Resources

  • How are you doing? In this difficult season resources on pastoral resiliency are emerging and there is a danger of burnout. Fresh Expressions US has Resilient Church Academies. Bishop Julian Dobbs has done a podcast interview with John Dobbs (no relation!) about the coming pastoral crash.
  • How is church going? Many churches have begun to meet again. Some are meeting outside or in multiple smaller groups, of course. Carey Nieuwhof has written about the emerging trends and how “in-person church attendance is lower than anyone expected.” He also has an interesting interview with Nicky Gumbel about the pros and cons of church online.
  • The Marriage Course – Speaking of Nicky Gumbel, we have noticed that many churches are utilizing the Marriage Course online right now. It seems to adapt well to the online format and allows couples to process things together in this unique season.
  • Singing? One element of regathering still has many more questions than answers. Should we be singing? The American Anglican Council posted an interview featuring Mark Williams of Christ Church Savannah. The Church Times has an article about this based on recent data.
  • Digital Ministry – Anglican Compass has recently released an article and free e-book on How to Thrive in a Digital Exile: 9 Tips for Churches.

This is the eleventh COVID-19 Resource Roundup from the Evergreen Project Team. Each is intended as a stand-alone collection of resources to encourage the Body of Christ and equip Anglican leaders.

The Evergreen Project is an ACNA effort led by Canon David Roseberry of LeaderWorks. Archbishop Foley Beach and Canon Alan Hawkins have tasked the team along with Canon Phil Ashey and the American Anglican Council to collect, create, and curate resources to help ACNA congregations in this unique time. We want to help by pointing busy pastors and ministry leaders to things we are finding helpful amidst the vast amount of content being produced and published right now.

Do you have a resource or story to share?

Our point of contact for each week’s Resource Roundup is the Rev. Daniel Adkinson – danieladkinson [AT] me.com.