The following are recommendations from the Regional Executive Ministers Council for American Baptist Pastors during this time of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions.

Traditional pastoral ministry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and government Stay at Home directives. It has changed dthe way we worship, fellowship and provide pastoral care. In general, there are to be no groups of ten or more people.

1. Worship services should not be held in person. Services should be held by Facebook, streaming, and video conference.

2. Memorial services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger services should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

3. Wedding services should be restricted to immediate family members of ten or less people. Larger celebrations and/or receptions should be planned for after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

4. Pastoral calls to those in the hospital, nursing homes, and shut-ins should be postponed until after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

5. People in hospitals, nursing homes, and shut-ins are considered at high risk of being infected with the virus.

6. Pastoral care must take on other expressions: greeting cards, phone calls, email, texting, Face Timing, and other creative ways to be present.

7. The ministry of prayer has been become even more important.

8. RESOURCES:

Best Practices for Funerals During the COVID-19 Crisis:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jp2i6bFvSTfLbDf0nu5QWsKI3aF_toK_uN1o0yvujEA/edit 

ABC USA Resources:
www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus/