Covid-19 Resources

On Monday, March 16, 2020, Bishop Robert C. Wright wrote in a letter to the community that “after much consultation and prayer, and in light of the most recent update from the CDC, I have decided to direct every congregation to move all worship and meetings online effective immediately and until further notice.” Please click on “Updates from Bishop Robert C. Wright,” below, to read his full statement.

On this page, you will also find Diocesan recommended resources for navigating the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic. We are here to support you in providing compassionate care for the physical, mental, and spiritual health of your parish, family, friends, and wider community during this uncertain time. To that end, here are some prayers for serenity, strength, and spiritual growth during the outbreak.

This page will be updated continuously. Please check back for updates as we learn more about this continuously unfolding situation. 

Stories of Hope & Helping

An ongoing series that will look at how our parishes and ministries are caring for our communities during this time of pandemic

Food Pantry Drive-Through Serves Over 3,300 Hot Meals a Week
Read Story

Songs of Encouragement

Listen to Bishop Wright’s hand-picked Spotify playlist to keep your spirits lifted throughout the week.

Resources

Updates from Bishop Robert C. Wright
March 16, 2020

Update on COVID-19: Finding New Ways to Foster Connection

Beloved,

Allow me to say how proud I am of the Diocese of Atlanta! So many of you are bringing imagination, compassion and good cheer to this pandemic. I was heartened to see the variety of online worship and prayer opportunities that are already being offered across our Diocese.

Still, after much consultation and prayer, and in light of the most recent update from the CDC, I have decided to direct every congregation to move all worship and meetings online effective immediately and until further notice. Now is the time for us to use the gift of our tradition along side of new ways to practice being the body of Christ and to deepen our connections with one another and with the wider world.

To that end, links to resources for individual and family devotions can be found here on this page.

In all of this, I encourage you to be on high alert for the Spirit’s blessings in this disruption! The church cannot be cancelled, the church can only adapt! Press on, take care of one another, take care of yourself, God Is Trustworthy! “These present afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is being revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18

Blessings,

Rob+

 


 

March 15, 2020

What you can do rather than go to Church this morning!

1. Have worship at home with your family.

2. Take a walk and think about God’s goodness to you.

3. Make a list of folks who could use a kind and encouraging word and call or text them.

4. Call someone you struggle to love and just say, “I was just thinking about you.”

5. Start reading the bible.

6. Make an online donation to an organization that is doing important work.

7. Commit to pray for those in the health care space for the rest of this pandemic.

8. Turn off the TV, turn on the music that touches your soul.

9. Commit to using all of your social media to post positive, edifying posts.

10. Go to the store for someone.

11. What would you add to this list…

You see Church can’t actually be cancelled, it can only adapt.

God bless you, wash your hands!

 


 

March 13, 2020

Prudent, Not Panicked

Beloved,

Things continue to develop rapidly. Since my last communication, there are 42 cases of COVID-19 in 14 Counties in Georgia and 1 person has died. Many schools, colleges and universities have moved learning online or cancelled classes all together. And many congregations in the diocese have cancelled most if not all of their weekly programming. Our Presiding Bishop has given us his support to either cancel all worship services for the next two weeks or to practice extreme caution as we gather for worship. Because we are a large diocese with diverse contexts I am NOT at this time directing the diocese to cancel worship. Rather, I echo our Presiding Bishop’s approach for now. You have my absolute support if you make the difficult decision to cancel and you have my absolute support if in your context it makes sense to gather for worship adhering to the guidelines established by the CDC and my previous directive. Given the rate of change we have already experienced, it is likely that I will need to update this communication in the next few days. Still, we must not panic, but we must be prudent. God is still God and by the grace of God we will steady ourselves, take care of one another and continue on.

God bless you,

+Rob

 


Healthcare
Social distancing is one of the best ways to control the spread of disease, including Covid-19: CDC guidance

CDC guidance for faith communities. 

Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 updates

Faith tradition COVID-19 health guides: United Church of Christ, Union for Reform Judaism, The Episcopal ChurchUnited Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Muslim Public Affairs Council

Emotional Care
As Christians we are committed to caring for each other, including providing help when someone is feeling fearful or sad. All the news about Coronavirus can be daunting, particularly for children who might find it difficult to understand what they’re seeing online and on TV. Here is how we can ensure that we are checking in with one another and not isolating ourselves from friends and community, even while practicing social distancing.

CDC guidance  

UNICEF guidance

Clergy Support Resources (Updated March 25)
As developments around the coronavirus pandemic continue to unfold at a rapid rate, the Diocese of Atlanta is committed to doing all it can to help stem the spread of Covid-19 and support our churches as they find new ways to worship, pray, care, and comfort. We are compiling a number of resources for our clergy into this master document, and encourage you to check back frequently for updates. We will continue to add information as it comes to light, and thank each and everyone of you for such inspiring creativity and dedication as we all pivot to meet the needs of our community. During this uncertain and ever-evolving crisis, we are all in this together. 

Additional Resources

Resource from Columbia Theological Seminary: What We Need Is Here: Practicing Resurrection in a Season of Social Distance

Article on caring for yourself by Greg DeLoach is Interim Dean at McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University and Director of Development at McAfee School of Theology and College of Professional Advancement.

Clergy and Spiritual Communal Leaders Group: Rabbi Joshua Lesser has created a FB Group for clergy and spiritual communal leaders to share resources, responses, and decision making frameworks around COVID-19 related issues. It’s also a multifaith space for mutual support in this changing landscape. The group is Clergy and Spiritual Communal Responses to Covid-19. It is a private group. To receive an invite, contact Don Plummer, dplummer@episcopalatlanta.org.

Liturgical
At-home Formation

Church Next is offering new free classes
Faith at Home
Way of Love Lent Curriculum
Bedtime Stories and Prayer with Episcopalians
Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville is offering an online class on prayer and practice through Facebook Live weekdays from 10-11 a.m. Click here for more information.