As COVID-19 continues to affect how we function as communities of faith, pastors face difficult decisions. Some congregations did not adjust their worship practices in the wake of the virus’ spread. Others had just resumed “normal” in-person worship in recent months. Each congregation’s circumstances are uniquely shaped by statistics in their area, membership demographics, and decision-making processes.

Resources from Support Organizations

Amid these multi-faceted challenges and diverse needs, links to various support organizations provide insight and suggestions:

Realtime U.S. COVID Map & Vaccine Tracker

National Council of Churches

Church Mutual Insurance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The World Health Organization

Discerning Worship Practices and Responses

Below are questions for pastors and church leaders to consider when discerning how their church should respond to the virus:

  1. What opportunities are there to bathe your process in prayer? Asking God’s guidance on critical issues can help clarify when essential information seems clouded by statistics and debate.
  2. How are you making space for multiple points of view? Listen for courses of action you may not have considered.
  3. Which worship practices address the needs of the frailest in your community? How can you embody inclusivity and sensitivity when considering the needs of congregants?

Worship Virtually

Some congregations and Congregationalists may wish to see how other NACCC churches accommodate the needs of the day. Perhaps you are interested in worshipping virtually with a Congregational church that is not your home church. For a list of churches’ weekly online services click here.

Sharing Your Concerns and Exchanging Ideas

 Virtually join Rev. Dr. Ashley Cleere, Executive Director of the NACCC on a Zoom call.

What To Do About Worship? Conversation for Church Leaders
October 28, 2021, at 4:00pm CST
Churches have adapted worship experiences in various ways since the origin of this public health crisis. Questions continue about whether, when, and how to gather in person. Leaders grapple with how to respond to increasing interest in virtual worship. We invite moderators, church leaders, Year-Round Delegates, and clergy to participate in this sharing of concerns and exchange of ideas.  RSVP for the Event

Innovative Program Grants Available

As we embrace changes in methods used to connect with worshiping communities, the NACCC supports churches that introduced new ministries and programs during the pandemic. Through the “Silver Linings” grants program, the NACCC has made available 10 one-time grants not to exceed $5,000 each. These will allow NACCC congregations to maintain, strengthen, or upgrade any ministry initiated or altered since March 2020 that the church would like to continue as they return to in-person and on-site worship. Application Deadline is November 15, 2021.  Pastors or church leaders wanting to apply for a Silver Linings grant can find the application here.