Resources for Churches During COVID-19

This is a brand new resource page that will be updated regularly. Below you will find stories and resources for how to minister to your congregation and your neighbourhood. For many stories from our churches we are also including an “on the ground” contact person that you can contact to ask questions or get advice. If you have something to share, please email us at communications@baptist-atlantic.ca.

RE-OPENING OUR IN-PERSON CHURCH GATHERINGS

Is your church looking to re-open soon? We’re offering this guidance document, produced by CBAC Associate Executive Minister Kevin Vincent and several CBAC pastors.

For churches in New Brunswick, please read:

WATCH OUR CREATIVITYxHOPE VIDEOS

  1. Introduction to CreativityxHope: Stories From Our Neighbourhoods
  2. Michael Fredericks
  3. Kristen Price
  4. Tara Albert
  5. Borden Scott
  6. Carolyn Steeves
  7. Jon Dixon
  8. Cheryl Ann Beals
  9. Jon Scarpuzzi
  10. Danny Smith
  11. Natasha Davidson
  12. Christopher Drew
  13. Jennifer Smith
  14. Gordon Dickinson

COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS SUBSIDY

We are now offering up to 75 one-time grants of $100 for churches that are hoping to do more online connecting with their congregation. You could use this toward a paid Zoom subscription, a couple of months service of Smart Talk, or equipment to help you connect better online.

Apply Now!

ONLINE LEADERSHIP CIRCLE

Our pastors and paid church staff are invited to a weekly Zoom meeting where we facilitate conversations on how to creatively and responsibly join God in our neighbourhoods during COVID-19. The Online Leadership Circle page has upcoming details, previous video recordings. and handouts.

Government Programs for Financial Relief

April 15th, 2020: A Guide To Finances and Staffing from the CBAC During Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF)

Federal Government – “Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan”

New Brunswick – “The New Brunswick Workers Emergency Income Benefit”

  • A one-time income benefit of $900 is available for workers or self-employed people residing in New Brunswick who have lost their job due to the state of emergency. The benefit will help to bridge the gap between when a person lost their job or closed their business on or after March 15, 2020, to when the national benefit takes effect. The benefit will end on April 30, 2020. The benefit is offered by the Government of New Brunswick, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross. You will be able to apply starting at noon on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Newfoundland – COVID-19 Resources

Nova Scotia – Support for Individuals, Families and Businesses

  • Nova Scotia is offering the Small Business Impact Grant, which could provide up to $5000 for small businesses that demonstrate a revenue loss of 30% based on either April 2019 or February 2020. We have confirmed that this is offered to churches that meet the eligibility criteria.
  • On Thursday, April 2nd, the NS government announced “a $20 million Worker Emergency Bridge Fund to help the self-employed and those laid-off workers who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Government will provide a one-time, $1,000 payment, to bridge the gap between layoffs and closures and the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit.”
  • Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, March 20th. People do not need to apply.

Prince Edward Island:

  • On Wednesday, April 1st, the PEI government announced the COVID-19 Income Support Fund: “provides financial support to residents of Prince Edward Island to bridge the gap between the loss of their job/lay-off, loss of their primary source of income, Employment Insurance benefits have expired or loss of all revenues through self-employment as a result of COVID-19. This emergency income fund is a one-time lump sum payment of $750 from the Government of Prince Edward Island. This emergency income is taxable.”
  • Anyone who lives and works in P.E.I., earns $25 per hour or less and lost their job between March 13 and March 31 is eligible to receive a $100 gift card for Sobeys.
  • Other measures announced in P.E.I. include as much as $250 a week for workers who have kept their jobs but at reduced hours and a fund for the self-employed with a maximum payment of $500 per week.

 

Tools for “OFFLINE” Ministry

  • New Hope Community Church (NB) has begun streaming on Facebook Live for daily devotionals and updates everyday at 2pm. The church is also streaming live on Facebook, Sundays at 11am for worship and Wednesday’s at 6:30pm for Bible studies. For those who are not connected, Pastor Brock Symonds found a simple and inexpensive ($30 a month) way to broadcast to those people without the ability to go online. People can phone a designated toll-free number and listen to the broadcast. According to Pastor Brock, this is simple to set up.”If anyone or any church has any questions about this, or a wants first-hand account of what is working and not working for us, they can contact me.” — Pastor Brock Symonds (Phone: 1-506-878-1085; Email: newhope.nb@gmail.com)
  • We are hearing stories of churches setting up “phone trees” for regular phone check-ins.
  • Some churches are facilitating delivery of food and other materials that involves low or no physical contact.
    • Middle Sackville Baptist Church (NB) has set up their church building to be used to receive, sort, and distribute food bank items for those with food security needs during COVID-19. Pastor Mark Reece is available to answer any questions about this. Below they have shared the current volunteer liability release the church is using. It was drafted after consulting government guidelines, food bank procedures, and the church’s own building use documents.

Church Finances and Operations

Insurance (Updated Friday, April 3rd)

CBAC Financial Resources and Updates

Remote Giving

If your church does not yet have remote giving or online giving options, this will need to be a priority for you. Below are the options we recommend for providing ways for your congregation to give both offline and online.

  • Mailing cheques
  • Pre-Authorized Debit: Your treasurer can go to your bank branch and set up pre-authorized debit transfers, scheduled monthly. You will then have to get your church members to fill a form and provide their banking information for the scheduled transactions.
  • E-Transfers: your church may be able to set up a church email address associated with its bank account. Donors can then send an e-transfer to that email address in the same way as a person-to-person transfer.

Online Giving

Practices for Connecting Your Church Community

There are endless possibilities for how your church can remain connected to one another and to your community while you pause your Sunday services. Consider some of the below options that our CBAC churches have already implemented:

Live stream an identical version of your church services online on Sunday morning
  • Some of our churches are putting on a live service from the church building, with only the leadership team and worship team being onsite
Share a video of your sermon and music online on Sunday morning
  • Some of our pastors are pre-recording their sermons this week, which will then be released on Youtube and/or Facebook on Sunday.
  • Some music teams will be pre-recording their music and then sharing those videos on Sunday, or simply sharing a set of songs from Youtube that were recorded by the original artist
Maintain a daily connection with your congregation via social media and email
  • Some churches have begun sharing a daily devotional with their congregations over Facebook, Instagram, and email. This could be an incredible way for your congregation to grow (or remain) closer together.