News and Resources

April 16, 2020

Healthy Congregations & COVID-19

As we work to support the needs of our communities, we realize one of our great strengths is to be able to partner with nearly 100 active United Methodist Congregations that participate in our Healthy Congregations Program.  We are excited to work to provide financial and technical assistance to Healthy Congregations members as they respond to COVID-19 in their communities.

In these unprecedented times, our Healthy Congregations teams and their local partners are continuing to work to support families, friends, congregations and communities across the Great Plains Conference. We have heard from many of our teams and are impressed not only with their passion and commitment but also their creativity and resourcefulness in responding to rapidly developing community needs.

Our congregations play an important role in supporting our communities and responding to this crisis. Today, we are announcing a special grant opportunity for current Healthy Congregations teams in good standing to apply for up to $500 in additional funding to support ministry assisting with response to COVID-19. Focusing this opportunity on currently established teams allows us to quickly turn around submissions and keep the application form simple.

In terms of how teams might use the resources, we wanted to share a couple of examples of what we have heard from local teams. Several are working to increase support to local food banks and supporting programs such as the Summer Food Service Program, (another available opportunity for HC teams) to help prevent hunger during the crisis.  Other congregations are making face masks for health care providers in the community. A template for making masks is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

While these are just two ideas on how teams can focus their ministry to respond to COVID-19, we hope these resources can provide the flexibility to best help congregations respond to community needs during this time.

Beyond important ministry work, we can also all benefit our communities by being good and supportive neighbors. We asked our friends at the Neighboring Movement to share their thoughts on ways to be a good neighbor in this time of social distancing – available above or via https://youtu.be/rOtySmBzJrc.

Together, we will get through this time.  We look forward to further partnering with our Healthy Congregations teams to support congregation-led work to address community COVID-19 needs. Please apply in the coming weeks and be in touch with questions to Katie katie@healthfund.org. Thank you for your leadership and ministry during these challenging times. 

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