Public Health Resources
COVID-19 Related Benefits/CARES Act:
IMPORTANT: Please consult with legal counsel, CPA/tax professional, and/or your banker.
- ELCA.org/PublicHealth has many resources related to the CARES Act.
- Updated Resources on COVID-19 related Benefits for ELCA Congregations and Ministries and their employees
- These resources were put out by the ELCA’s General Counsel, Tom Cunniff. More information from Tom:
- Are churches eligible? Yes. There is some misinformation out there and some lenders are confused, but churches are eligible.
- What is the application period for the Paycheck Protection Plan loans/grants? It opens today, April 3. There is no close date we are aware of, but because the pool of money is limited, applicants should start soon.
- If you take the loan/grant, do you have to submit to an audit to get forgiveness? Not likely. You will have to document through payroll records, canceled checks, etc., that you spent the money as allowed, but that is a far cry from an audit. The SBA’s ability to audit individual claims is going to be severely limited.
- Who is the owner of the congregation/synod? NO ONE. The space on the application for ownership of 20% or more of the entity does not apply and should be left blank. PLEASE DO NOT say that the synod or the ELCA owns a congregation, or that the ELCA owns a synod. IT IS NOT TRUE. Also, if we are improperly lumped together, it will put us over 500 employees and no one will get it.
- Other Resources:
- Payroll Protection Program (PPP)
- These are all time sensitive! Limited and on a first come, first serve basis.
What else is the ELCA doing?
- Daily Bread Grants for sustaining feeding ministries. These have gone fast! Learn more at ELCA.org/DailyBread
- Here to Serve – Domestic Mission Unit is transitioning to project based support for synods and congregations.
- Question: How can the ELCA best assist you?
- Email response – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Launched COVID-19 Response Appeal on March 30.
- More info at ELCA.org/PublicHealth
- Beginning on April 20th Churchwide will be setting up some short-term projects.
Holy Communion in a time of pandemic
Bishop Constanze Hagmaier
Many of you have asked about the sacrament of Holy Communion in a time of pandemic. Communion traditions have and still greatly vary throughout SD. Some of us celebrate Holy Communion once a month, others come to the Lord’s Table every Sunday. While communion practices vary from one location to the next, we share common understandings. We believe that Christ is really present in, with and under bread and wine, when we gather around the sacrament of the altar. Following Martin Luther’s directive, we also believe that in times of emergency and pandemic, we can celebrate the sacraments (baptism and communion) in the privacy of our homes with those around us. Detailed instructions can be found below. Christ’s promise of forgiveness of sins and new life will nourish us just like it does when we physically gather as the body of Christ. In Matthew 18:20, Jesus assures us that where two or three are gathered, he will be among us. If you have questions concerning the sacraments in time of emergency and pandemic, please know that I am only a phone call or email away. God’s grace and peace are with you!
Digital Worship and Sacramental Life in a Time of Pandemic – Written by Prof. Dr. Dirk Lange (Luther Seminary/LWF)
How to Track Attendance
This period of “social distancing” has demanded that congregations come up with creative online solutions for gathering the community in worship, whether through livestreaming, posting of recorded services, or both. This has led to many questions about how to track and report attendance when it comes time to fill out Form A next year. Click the link below for recommended guidelines from the Office of the Secretary.
Augsburg Fortress (Our Church Publishing House)
Augsburg Fortress is temporarily expanding permission for all ELCA congregations and worshiping communities to include Augsburg Fortress administered liturgical text and liturgical music copyrights in a livestream or podcast. From March 15 through May 31, 2020, you have permission to livestream or podcast ALL liturgy and music content under copyright to or administered by Augsburg Fortress when that content is being used for worship. No reporting is required.
One License to Offer Gratis Licenses to Congregations through April 15
Visit onelicense.net. Use code CRVS20 at checkout (all fees will be waived).
Digital Worship Resources
- From LEAD (Gulf Coast Synod) – Digital Worship Leadership
- Holy Week Digital Worship Templates – LEAD
Zoom Video Conferencing
Zoom is a popular video conference platform that allows for virtual meetings online. Members can join in by phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. To initiate a meeting, all you need is computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. Receive a 50% discount for a Zoom plan purchased through TechSoup.How to Create a Meeting – Step by Step Guide
Mevo Livestreaming Camera (Cameras are on Backorder due to high demand)
Livestream like a Pro: with 4K video and sophisticated editing capabilities, Mevo Plus takes your livestreaming to the next level. Learn more here.
Switcher Studio (Great option using existing equipment)
Switcher Studio makes it easy to stream your service from multiple angles using just iPhones and iPads. Edit the stream in real time — add text, switch angles, or roll in videos like openers or sermon teasers. You can even include scripture or lyric slides in a picture-in-picture layout. Plus, our platform integrations let you connect instantly to Facebook, YouTube, your own site, or elsewhere. Learn more here.
Online Giving – ELCA Preferred Vendors
- Tithe.ly (online giving, mobile app, text-to-give, websites, and database) – Synod uses this platform for online giving.
- Vanco (online, mobile, and text)
Moving Faith Formation Online
Many churches have cancelled gathered faith formation programs (and even Sunday worship) to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in their communities. But that doesn’t mean faith formation needs to stop. One way we can respond is to move faith formation online and into people’s homes and personal lives. Learn more from Vibrant Faith.
As leaders in Christ’s church, remember to care for your well-being in times of crisis. See resources available to you.
- Portico Benefit Services – Online Mental Health for Plan Members
- Portico Benefit Services – Online Primary Care for Plan Members
- 98point6 App
98point6 is an app that delivers 24/7 text-based primary care services for well below the cost of an in-person office visit — $0 for members with Platinum+ or Gold+ coverage and just $5 for those with Silver+ or Bronze+. The app connects members from anywhere in the U.S. via text and video with board-certified physicians who can diagnose, recommend treatment, and prescribe medication (except controlled medications) anywhere in the U.S. — no appointment required.
- SD Synod Coaching Network
- Spiritual Directors in South Dakota
- Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
- 211 Helpline Center