Reunion Registration

Youth Camp Registration

Quarterly Beacon Publication

Weekly Newsletter

Covid-19 Updates

First and foremost…. We hope that you are safe, healthy, and following directives provided by your local officials and government.

UPDATED (030822)

This page will strictly be available for you to find the right resources, the right information, and who to contact if and when you have questions in regards to the ever evolving COVID-19 virus.

WHAT IS IT?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.

How it spreads – Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

New – Update on COVID Precautions 3/4/22:

Our mission center has been following CDC guidance for reopening congregations and congregational activities. You’ve probably heard that the CDC issued revised guidelines a few days ago. Requirements for individuals and communities now vary according to what the CDC determines is the “Covid-19 Community Level.” The Covid-19 Community Level has 3 categories: Low, Medium, and High.  As you can imagine, the requirements increase as the category level goes from Low to Medium to High.

Each category has two prevention strategies: Individual/Household and Community. Until conditions change and/or CDC guidance is modified, our mission center will follow the precautions for Individual/Household prevention behaviors outlined below (also see attached PDF “Community Levels” for more details). You do not need to calculate your Covid-19 Community Level. Your county’s Covid-19 Community Level and preventative steps are found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html.

Congregations are encouraged to review all counties served by their ministry and follow the prevention steps for the highest threat level observed. For example, if a congregation serves 4 counties and 3 are Low and 1 is Medium, prevention steps are determined by the Medium category. No plan for reopening is required.

  • Updated local, state, or federal guidance can change our requirements at any time.
  • Signs communicating the congregation’s Covid-19 precautions placed around the congregation that correlate to the Covid-19 Community Level prevention steps are recommended.
  • Review “Ventilation in Buildings” to determine best ventilation practices for your facility – consult local HVAC specialists with additional questions.
  • Appropriate face coverings should still be provided by congregations and available for all participants in attendance (for example, place masks at front door or in pews). Regardless of COVID, can there ever be enough hand sanitizer?

This is a very helpful CDC webpage for preventative steps: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

As always, recognizing that we still uphold the principle of protecting the vulnerable, you know your situation in your congregations best.  If social distancing and mask wearing are appropriate in your situation, then please continue to do so.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BY CONTACTING YOUR PASTOR OR MISSION CENTER PRESIDENCY
or

RESOURCES

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS & DIRECTIVES – https://www.cofchrist.org/covid-19

ONLINE WORSHIP EXPERIENCES –https://www.cofchrist.org/online-ministries

STATS ON VIRUS IN YOUR AREA – https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/

CDC information and resources – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

WHO guidance and public advice – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

NEW YORK HEALTH INFORMATION – https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH INFORMATION – https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

OHIO HEALTH INFORMATION – https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID – Feeling Stressed or Nervous with COVID-19… you are not alone. Uncertainty and the sense of not being safe — not to mention physical distancing, round-the-clock news and empty grocery shelves — are stressful. What you’re feeling is common around the world. We know you’re looking for ways to take care of yourself and #BeTheDifference. We’ve compiled these tips from the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to help you care for your own and your loved ones’ mental health.
If you or someone you care about feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.
You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255or text MHFA to 741741 to talk to a Crisis Text Line counselor.

Any Road Will Get You There

One of my memories of my senior year at high school is the Senior Awards Night held at the local movie theater (one whole screen in 1977!) in Norwich NY. Students
were recognized for their academic and civic achievements. An English teacher, Mr. Reginald Gerchman, served as master of ceremonies. Mr. Gerchman lightened up the
evening by announcing humorous awards/prizes along with the serious scholarships. One “award” I remember in particular. Mr. Gerchman had one of my classmates, David, stand up and be recognized for being so eager, so excited, so enthusiastic to learn at school that he had fallen out of his chair onto the floor during a class. After our applause and
cheers, Mr. Gerchman went on to tell us that David actually fell out of his chair because he had fallen asleep during class. He left David with this parting admonition, “Remember David, when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there!” Interesting words…. Where am I going? Where are our congregations going?

There are many issues that could easily consume the time and energy of the church. However, the challenge before a prophetic people is to discern and pursue what matters most for the journey ahead. D&C 163:11b.

The mission of Jesus Christ is what matters most for the journey ahead. D&C 164:9f

In 2019 the Pittsburgh Beechview congregation hired a consultant who led the congregation in a discernment process. It was money well spent (thanks for our mission center’s Mission Initiative Grant!). I found the sessions to be really
worthwhile. We shared our thoughts, challenges, hopes, and dreams. The consultant helped us to be more deliberate in discerning and determining what we feel called to do and to be, and we are moving forward in faith. The future isn’t certain, the path isn’t entirely clear, but we trust God is with us on the journey. The discernment the congregation engaged in helped me realize that we need to talk more with each other about our congregations and the mission center. Let’s share more with each other. The mission center leadership team
wants to hear what’s going on in your congregation. I strongly encourage congregations to consider participating in a period of discernment if it’s been a while since the last time. Hiring a consultant worked well for Pittsburgh Beechview. It was fantastic to have a professional lead us in the process. Don’t rule it out–Mission Initiative Grants are available.

Where am I going? I’ve been asking myself that lately as I’ve been considering my own personal spiritual journey. I’d like to read more, meditate (think) more, pray more, but I
find it difficult. Is it just me or is it too easy to fall into unproductive patterns (often involving hours of TV) that stifle growth? It may be March 2020 by the time you read this,
but I don’t think it is ever too late to think about resolutions for the  current year. Last year I decided that I wanted to be more intentional about making “mission” part of my daily life. I resolved to offer the Mission Prayer as I rode the trolley to work each day. It was a good experience worth repeating. This year, I’ve decided to be more deliberate in taking the
time to become closer to God. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It is my prayer that whatever we do that brings us closer to God, whether it be reading, studying, meditating, singing, worshiping, playing music, watching movies, visiting, serving, etc., whatever it is, we do more of it.

By John Spilsbury – Mission Center President

20-20 Vision

Most of us will agree that we see and understand things in hindsight much better than we do into the future or even the present. While it is not healthy to live entirely in the past, contemplating events that have occurred and our reaction to them can help greatly as we move forward trying to become more like Jesus. This time of the year is perfect for an intentional look back over 2019. While New Year’s Resolutions are popular and may be useful to an extent, they are most often generated out of societal or cultural influences rather than spiritual ones. I’m going to suggest that we all apply a Prayer of Examen to our self-improvement process this year. The Prayer of Examen is a spiritual practice used by St. Ignatius Loyola and many other Christians as part of their daily walk with God. The time period “examen”ed is often one day, but any time period works. Before I lose you, let me stress that this process can be as formal or informal as you like. Journal or not – your choice. This is an exercise WITH God, so the first thing we need to do is take a moment to acknowledge God’s presence with us. We know in our heads that God is always present, but we often aren’t really present with God heart to heart. Enjoy that connection for as long as you want and bring it with you into the process. Second, think over the events of the past year with gratitude. Obviously, our lives aren’t always rainbows and roses, so try to be grateful for even the difficulties that you experienced in 2019, especially if you have already realized the associated blessings. Let God bring things to your mind that need to be acknowledged. This isn’t about guilt – it is about AWARENESS. Everyone makes less than stellar choices or handles difficult situations badly sometimes. Often, we don’t even realize when our actions have been damaging to others or the world around us. As you become aware, converse with God about how those situations could have been more Christlike. Be prepared for God to point out gifts that you may not have been aware of as well. Lastly, accept God’s grace and look forward to 2020 with new perspective and intention. Christ’s mission is OUR mission! May we continually improve our ability to see our world through God’s eyes.

~Denise Hoyt