Worship in Times of Pandemic
- Come Let us Worship – In Person Worship Resource in Times of Pandemic
- Extending the Table Expanding Participation – Holy Communion Resource
- Returning to In-Person Worship Guide
- Additional Resources – Returning to In-Person Worship
- Resuming Care Filled Worship and Sacramental Life
Public Health Resources
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.
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