Issue 71 of Administration Matters

Considerations for returning to in-person worship

Reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic is complex. First and foremost, congregations must keep the safety and well-being of their members and staff as their top priorities. Also, they must consider many factors and take on many new tasks as they welcome their faithful. Safeguards should be in place, such as attendance limits, physical distancing, and the use of face coverings. We should also be humble, understanding that none of us completely understands the nature of COVID-19 and that others will likely have perspectives very different from our own. Don’t compromise on safety but be patient and humble as you navigate the ups and downs of reopening your congregation. > More

Livestreaming your worship service

Even as you return to in-person worship with limited attendance, you may still want to livestream the service for members who are reluctant to attend in person. This guide explains how to begin streaming for very little money and with equipment you already own or might borrow. >More

Safe return to worship

Just as we have adapted our operations to weather the pandemic, we now look forward to a time when we can reopen our doors and welcome people back into our churches. As state and local authorities begin to ease restrictions, it’s time to think through how we might best resume normal day-to-day operations. Any plan for reopening needs to have the health and safety of worshipers as its top priorities. With that in mind, the ELCA has partnered with Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., to bring you safeguards and recommendations in the webinar “Safely Returning to Worship” and a related article here.

Financial best practices for congregations

Creating an environment with financial controls and best practices ensures that the resources entrusted to       the church are handled in the best possible ways. It also ensures compliance with accounting rules and  regulations. The presentation “Financial Best Practices for Congregations” highlights key aspects of separating financial duties, safeguarding offerings and handling expenditures, among other items, to ensure proper controls and compliance and assist in reducing the risk of misconduct and audit findings. > More

Preparing for an emergency

Smart planning can help you keep your business running if disaster strikes. The chances of your congregation requiring an emergency plan may be greater than you think. You’ll want to take the right steps to prepare for and possibly prevent a crisis, and you’ll want to know where to get aid if an emergency occurs. > More

Emojis and the COVID pandemic

Emojis. Those colorful symbols are everywhere and help infuse plain text with tone and body language. They offer a way to convey nuance and express thought or emotion. Emojis are meant to be lighthearted and convey a broad range of emotions. Why are we using more emojis — particularly the “folded hands” or “prayer hands” emojis — during the COVID-19 pandemic? Watch this video to find out.