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95482

As the facts (and myths) regarding the coronavirus continue to pour into our emails daily, it can feel very overwhelming to ministry leaders and their daily operations. 

 

In an attempt to alleviate some of that pressure, Ministry Pacific has compiled all the resources we've received from our insurance carriers and ministry partners into one place for you.

 

We will continually make additions as they come in, and keep up to date with  any current news surrounding COVID-19.

As the American people are advised more and more to self-isolate and practice social distancing, we find the need for community and servant-hearted leadership all the more vital.

 

Ministry Pacific remains open to serve and assist your church through these times of crisis, with our team members working from home. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns regarding your church, and we will gladly respond back!

 

 

APRIL 

2nd

Nearly 10 million American workers filed for jobless claims in the last two weeks.

CURRENT NEWS:

 

Church HR & Operations

Part One:

ADA & Sick Time, Questions We Can Legally Ask

  • Can we ask an employee if they are sick? 

  • Can we take staff temperatures?

  • Can we make staff go home?

  • Do we have to offer sick time?

Part Two:

Office Closures, Working Remotely, & How to Pay Staff

  • How to pay hourly & salary staff if we shut down offices?

  • Can we make staff use their sick or vacation time?

  • What about FMLA, short term disability, or unemployment insurance?

  • How do I make a work from home policy?

  • How can I keep staff accountable when working remotely?

Part Three:

Healthcare Coverage, Copays, & Benefit Requirements

  • Who pays for coronavirus testing?

  • Do copays and deductibles still apply?

  • What happens if I am hospitalized?

  • Is there job protection with the coronavirus?

  • Does government relief apply to churches?

HR Ministry Solutions continues to create helpful resources specifically for churches. Visit their website to review more: 

 

More COVID-19 HR Resources:

Third-party Webinars, Printable Documents, & Blog Posts

  • Employee Guide for Work During Coronavirus

  • All In One Resource for COVID-19

  • Coronavirus and the Church

  • Response Plan for Churches

  • All Things Coronavirus

  • Employee Guide for Work During Coronavirus

  • Coronavirus Online Forum for Churches

  • The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About Coronavirus For Your Church

  • Managing the Impact of Coronavirus on Your Church

Staff Pay Options

Navigating Options for Your Staff During COVID-19

  • Do I Pay?

  • How Can I Pay?

 

Church Legal Rights

What Options Do Churches Have

Amid Bans of Mass Gatherings?

Legal Insider from Pacific Justice Institute

 

 

Dear Friends, 
 
With so much anxiety and uncertainty gripping our nation, it’s more important that the people of God act with faith and not from fear. We also want to be well-informed and make the best decisions possible for ourselves, our families, and our churches. 
 
Many pastors are asking us how the increasing prohibitions on mass gatherings may affect their churches. The following is some brief guidance in this area. Note that this is a rapidly developing situation.       
 
First, churches should ascertain whether they are under a ban on mass gatherings or directive on social distancing. As of March 12, 2020, most public events in California have been ordered canceled. There are no exemptions for church services or events. A few other jurisdictions are enacting similar restrictions, with more undoubtedly to follow. 
 
In California, on March 11 Gov. Newsom updated the State’s policy and guidance stating that gatherings of 250 or more should be canceled or postponed, gatherings of under 250 should proceed only with “social distancing” of 6 feet between persons, and gatherings of high-risk individuals should be limited to no more than 10. The next day on March 12 Gov. Newsom issued an Executive Order directing, among other things, that all residents of the State are to heed such guidance. 
 
Churches will have a variety of responses to such directives. Beyond the legal issues presented, the guidance and overarching health crisis are spiritual challenges to be wrestled with by pastors and, where applicable, the eldership or other ecclesiastical authority. 
 
Many churches will comply. In many ways, churches today are better positioned than many other entities to deal with this crisis. Most churches now broadcast their sermons and/or services online, and tithing can also usually be done online. Churches may possibly spread out their services throughout the week and have more services on the weekend in order to reduce the total number of congregants at one time. Home-based small groups within churches may be well positioned to take on a greater role in the absence of larger gatherings. After all, the church started out in homes 2,000 years ago!  
 
At the same time, some church leaders may feel they cannot in good conscience cancel a worship service. If so, such churches should be aware that state and local governments have considerable powers—known as police powers—to issue decrees like this. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances, PJI might be willing to challenge the authority of a government to order the cancellation of a worship service, but this is an unprecedented situation and the legal outcome of such a conflict would be highly uncertain. Churches would have to be willing to risk fines and other forms of potential liability if they took this approach.  
 
Churches seeking to carry on normal activities, whether they are in a jurisdiction seeking to halt mass gatherings or not, would be well advised to contact their insurance carriers to understand their potential liabilities and mitigation strategies. While PJI is well-versed in First Amendment and related defenses of religious institutions, we cannot advise churches as to all other areas of risk, such as from people contracting a disease at a church event conducted in defiance of a governmental directive. 
 
Aside from government bans, church leaders do have the authority to take steps such as directing elderly or high-risk congregants to avoid church gatherings. Many churches are also making hand sanitizer available, discouraging handshakes, and cleaning more often than usual. Churches may also wish to require masking or make them available. While the benefits of mask-wearing have been debated by experts, many doctors continue to advocate mask-wearing.   
 
PJI staff are taking appropriate precautions, but we are not giving in to fear. We remain here to serve the Body of Christ through every crisis. Note that, due to all of the disruptions this crisis is creating in many different areas of our lives, our response times to non-urgent requests may be somewhat delayed as we prioritize the most urgent needs of churches, ministries, and clients.     
 
Let’s ask God to turn around this crisis to bring us together as a nation, to remind us what is truly important and eternal, and to give churches and the people of God new ways to minister to our neighbors. 
 
Running the Race,
 
Brad Dacus
Founder and President of Pacific Justice Institute

PJI is a non-profit legal defense organization. Visit their website to review more: 

 

More Religious Freedom Resources:

Churches, Civil Liberties, & More

  • Clergy Petition Form

  • Church and Politics

  • Language for Bylaws & Model Marriage Policy

  • Christmas Q&A

  • What You Need to Know About the Equality Act

  • Public Evangelism Q&A

  • Faith in the Workplace

 

Business Resources

Coronavirus Preparedness:

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

  • What Individuals Can Do

  • What Organizations Can Do

  • Protect Yourself from Flu at a Large Public Event Info Sheet

  • Do Your Part to Slow the Spread Info Sheet

  • Get Your Community & Faith Based Organizations Ready for the Pandemic Flu Guide

  • Pandemic Flu Checklist for Workplace Administrators

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

  • What Exactly is a Coronavirus

  • COVID-19 Symptoms & Spread

  • Religious Organizations

  • Human Services

  • Health Services Employee Exposure

  • Tips for Business Owners

COVID-19: What Precautions Does My Organization Need to Take?

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

  • Symptoms and Prevention of COVID-19

  • Business Response Planning

  • Sign up for CDC Alerts

  • Add Real-time COVID-19 Information to Your Website

 

School Resources

Coronavirus Preparedness:

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

  • Putting Together a Plan to Minimize Risk

  • Strategies Schools Can Use to Prevent Spread and Impact of Illness

  • Cartoon from NPR to Explain COVID-19 to Children

  • Link to CDC Resources for Schools

COVID-19: What Precautions Does My Organization Need to Take?

Blogs, Checklists, Guides, & Info Sheets

  • Symptoms and Prevention of COVID-19

  • Business Response Planning

  • Sign up for CDC Alerts

  • Add Real-time COVID-19 Information to Your Website

 

Center of Disease Control

Facts & Myths from the CDC

Live Feed from CDC Website

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