Blue Ridge District COVID-19 Response

 

Please fill out this form to inform us of any needs or additional resources. We will post them below. 

Quick Links
Scheduled Zoom meetings, Videos, and Recorded Meetings
Resource links


Guidelines for In-Person Worship & Ministry During COVID-19   |   FAQs   |   Further Info for Re-launch  |  Health Screening Questionnaire


Update 5/27/2020

Update 5/21/2020

  • Resource: Training videos for congregations--soon to be posted: How to properly sanitize and disinfect your worship space.

Update 5/14/2020

  • Event: Elevation Moment Retreat Repeat, Monday, May 18, 2020, 7-9pm Eastern
    Pastors, ritual artists and leaders are invited to a simple two-hour evening experience led by Dr. Marcia McFee, Creator and Visionary of the Worship Design StudioThis evening retreat experience is a time for you to simply come and decompress.

Update 5/13/2020

  • Resource/Resources Needed - May 21, 8am-2pm - Western North Carolinians can call the WNC COVID Legal Hotline at 828-560-3700 and talk to a lawyer for free on Thursday, May 21st between 8am to 2pm.  The Buncombe County Bar, Pisgah Legal Services, Legal Aid of NC, and the North Carolina Bar Foundation have joined together to host this hotline (More Info). Volunteers are needed for the following:
    • Attorneys can sign up for a 2-hour shift to answer questions related to housing (for renters & homeowners), bills or debt, unemployment insurance, health insurance, personal safety, stimulus checks, public benefits, and other basic needs matters. Attorneys are also needed to take calls from small business owners and nonprofit executives who are facing challenges due to the pandemic (More Info).
    • Volunteers needed to answer calls and gather basic information (name & legal problem) in order to direct caller to the appropriate attorney. No legal background necessary (More Info).

Update 5/5/2020

Update 4/28/2020

Update 4/24/2020

  • Resource - The following are two articles recommended by District Superintendent, Rev. Beth Crissman:
    • Before Reopening (.pdf) (.doc) - an article by Rev. Amy Coles, Assistant to the Bishop adapted from from the blog by Ken Braddy, “24 Questions Your Church Should Answer Before People Return.”
    • Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization Is Now a Startup  (.pdf) (.docby Andy Crouch, Kurt Keilhacker, and Dave Blanchard - an article for leaders of businesses and nonprofit organizations outlining the major challenges we face and some forward steps we can take, acknowledging that we all are operating with profound uncertainty not only about the future, but even about the present. 

Update 4/21/2020

  • Resource - Grassroots Aid Partnership is offering healthy meals to locals and has options for delivery. They are located in the West Asheville area. Currently, they are not reaching the number of people in our community as they would like to. If you know individuals who could benefit from their services, please pass this message along. Click HERE for the google doc that must be completed to access their services.
  • Information - An article about how to prepare for returning to gathered worship

Update 4/20/2020

Update 4/16/2020

Update 4/7/2020

Update 4/4/2020

Update 4/1/2020

Update 3/30/2020

  • Resource - A message from the Western North Carolina Conference:
    • We give thanks for the many ways local churches across the Conference are continuing in the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world during this pandemic.  At the same time, we realize that many churches are struggling financially as churches continue to hold worship services online and many members have had reductions in or loss of their employment.  In response, the Conference wants to partner with you in these ways:
      • A three-month waiver of the local church component of pension and health benefit premiums.
      • The establishment of the WNC Connexion Fund to help our WNC congregations support clergy and their families as they continue to lead our ministries.
      • Interpretation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • More information here.

Update 3/27/2020

  • Resources Needed - The Downtown Welcome Table runs on funds raised through special events, corporate partner and individual donations, and the generosity of over fifty local partner restaurants. Currently, all of these sources of financial support are on-hold, in question or temporarily unavailable.

    If you find yourself in the position to make a contribution, please use one of the following options:

    Give online via: haywoodstreet.kindful.com

    Send checks via mail to: PO Box 2982 / Asheville, NC / 28802

    *For reference, a $20 donation will feed 5 Friends experiencing homelessness and exceptional adversity during this time.

Update 3/23/2020

  • Resource - A giving portal is now available to submit tithes and offerings to any United Methodist Church within the Western North Carolina Conference. Givers need only complete this form: https://www.wnccumc.org/online-donations-to-churches; and follow the prompts to identify their church, along with the amount of their donation. (...) No fee is being charged by the Conference. In addition there are no service costs for the churches, as there are with other platforms (other than credit card convenience fees if givers choose to use a credit card). This is a free resource from the Conference to our churches

Update 3/22/2020

  • Resource - Wespath is providing a resource page with information about COVID-19 and questions related to retirement plans, health benefits, and resources for clergy and their families. This site will also be updated on an ongoing bases. https://www.wespath.org/about-wespath/Coronavirus

Update 3/21/2020

  • Volunteer Opportunity - Are you part of the low-risk population for COVID-19? Consider volunteering with MANNA FoodBank to package meals for the hungry in our Asheville area. Please see the link below, scrolling down until you get to the "How You Can Help" section. Please note: IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER YOU MUST REGISTER FOR A TIME SLOT.  You cannot just show up to help. You'll be turned away. https://www.mannafoodbank.org/covid-19/

Update 3/20/2020

  • Resources Needed - Homeward Bound is holding an Emergency Donation Drive and will be collecting items at our donation center at 205 Elk Park Drive in Woodfin. Items critically needed at this time include: Camping gear, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, disinfectant cleaning supplies including wipes, regular baby wipes, disposable gloves, towels, soap, underwear, socks, and unopened (without the seal broken) over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and cold medicine. Donors may drop items off any time of day, but preference is that they are dropped off between 11:00am and 2:00pm outside the front door and placed in the donation bins. In an effort to promote social distancing and to curb any potential spread of illness, donation center doors will not be open to the public and donated items will be sanitized upon receipt.
  • Volunteer Opportunity - Homeward Bound will be hosting April 5-11 Room in the inn (RITI) week with Haywood Street Congregation. We are very excited to partner with them to utilize their space that week! In addition to having a full kitchen they also have both volunteers and staff that will be onsite overnight. They have agreed to allow us to utilize their oven to heat things up and coffee maker each morning. We will have the volunteers beds in the acupuncture room (which is very comfortable) and setup the ladies in the sanctuary. There is also a brand new bathroom and easy access to the smoking area right nearby. I will be escorting the RITI women over to Haywood Street each night at 6pm and helping get everyone settled. I am happy to act as the onsite coordinate for any needs your volunteers may have each evening. We have had a couple groups sign up to help coordinate volunteers that week, but we still have five days left to cover. Can your group help take one or two days to coordinate? If so, contact Kate Brown at 828.776.9741.

Update 3/19/2020 

  • Resources Needed - Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) is looking for congregations or groups who could provide help for families in crisis during this time. Some families were just starting to get on their feet before they were unemployed due to COVID-19. If you can offer help such as gift cards to Ingles, diapers & wipes, or a refurbished laptop from PC for People ($100-$150), these items would be extremely helpful. Please contact Sandy: sandy@pisgahlegal.org

 


Upcoming Zoom Meetings

(If there is particular guidance for which you are searching or if you have guidance to offer others in the area of planning and preparing for virtual worship and meetings, please fill out this form. We will assess our offerings and get back to you.)

There are no Zoom meetings scheduled at this time.
 

Past Videos & Recorded Zoom Meetings

 

April 19th Interactive Worship Service
District Superintendent, Rev. Beth Crissman, district staff, and musicians from around the district shared in this service for the second Sunday in Easter. 

Virtual Pastoral Care During COVID-19
Rev. Sam Burleson has worked with church members at Salem UMC in Bostic to set up networks for congregational care & communication. Here, he explains their setup and offers some tips for other clergy (and church staff/leaders) who are in the midst of contemplating best congregational care practice in the midst of social distancing.

 

 


ONgoing Congregational Resources
 

 

  • BR District COVID-19 Response
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.