Bishop's Guidance

Bishop's messages
Pastoral Care
Frequently Asked Questions in the Time of COVID-19
Guidelines for Sharing Communion in the Time of Pandemic


Bishop's Messages

The most recent guidance on frequently asked questions is available here

 

11/18/20    - Summary of Bishops' Call with Clergy November 17
11/10/20    - Summary of Bishops' Call with Clergy November 10
10/27/20    - Summary of Bishops' Calls with Clergy October 27
10/15/20    - Summary of Bishops' Calls with Clergy October 13
8/26/20      - Summary of Bishops' Calls with Clergy August 25
8/13/20      - Summary of Bishops' Calls with Clergy August 11
7/28/20      - Summary of Bishops' Calls with Clergy July 28
7/14/20      - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy July 14: Q & A here 
6/30/20      - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy June 30: Q & A here 
6/24/20     - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy June 23: Q & A here 
6/16/20     - Bishop Goff's Letter Announcing Outdoor Worship Services This Summer  
6/5/20       - Bishop Goff's letter, Preparing for Phase II Regathering in Our Church Buildings
May 27     - Transcript of Bishop Porter Taylor Remarks on Preaching in the Time of COVID (Clergy Call- Week 10); Q&A /resources
May 13     - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy - Week 10; Q & A and resources here 
May 13     - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy - Week 9; Q & A and resources here 
May 13     - A Letter from the Bishops Regarding Phased Regathering in Our Church Buildings ; (click here for Spanish)
May 4       - Follow-Up Letter from Bishops of Diocese of Virginia re: Regathering as Church 
May 4       - A Joint Letter from the Bishops of the Dioceses of Virginia, Maryland and D.C.: Regathering as Church  (click here for Spanish)
April 29    - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy - Week 7; Q & A and resources here
April 22    - Transcript of Bishops' Calls with Clergy - Week 6; Q & A and resources here
April 15    - Transcript of Bishops' Weekly Calls with Clergy; Q & A here
April 8      - A Message Regarding Streaming Worship in Church Building; downloadable PDF
April 8      - Transcript of Bishops' Weekly Calls with Clergy; Q & A here 
April 6      - A Message from Holy Week from Bishop Goff 
April 1      - Transcript of Bishops' Call with Clergy; Q & A here
March 31 - Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church: On Our Theology of Worship
March 31 - A Message about COVID from the Bishops of Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC 
March 31 - Declaración de los Obispos Episcopales de Maryland, Virginia y Washington, DC
March 25 - Transcript of Bishops' Call with Clergy; Q & A here
March 23 - A Video Message from Bishop Goff 
March 18 - Bishop's Message Regarding Holy Week and Easter 
March 18 - Transcript of Bishops' Call with Clergy; Q & A here
March 13 - A Video Message from Bishop Goff
March 13  - From Presiding Bishop Michael Curry - Un mensaje del Obispo Presidente Michael Curry de la Iglesia Episcopal sobre el servicio litúrgico en respuesta a la pandemia del COVID-19
March 12 - COVID-19 Resources, including best practices and resources for virtual worship.
March 12 - A message from The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry regarding worship in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
March 12 - A message from Presiding Bishop Curry related to worship changes during a public health emergency
March 11 - from Bishop Susan Goff

 

Guidelines and Resources for Pastoral Care  

Diocesan Guidance for Pastoral Offices and Pastoral Care - July 8, 2020 (includes Baptism, Weddings, Burial Rites and more)

Pastoral Visits

As of June 24, 2020, some hospitals now permit visits from clergy, though requirements and regulations vary from place to place.  Many nursing homes and retirement or assisted living communities remain closed to visitors.  If clergy feel called to do pastoral visits, you may use your discretion and do so as long as you are not putting yourself, your family or those you visit at risk. To reduce risk as much as possible: 

  • Wear a mask.
  • Keep proper distancing.
  • Keep visits brief. 
  • Visit outdoors, on a porch or backyard, if possible.
  • Follow all directives and guidelines of the facility you are visiting, if that is the case. 
  • Communion may not be shared during these visits, with the exception of end of life visits.  In that case, communion may be brought to a dying person one time.  In addition to the other guidelines, be sure to wear gloves when you place the wafer in the hands of the recipient.  You may anoint the dying with oil.  Again, it would be best to wear gloves for that.  They don’t need to be surgical gloves for that brief touch. 
  • If you have more visits to make than the clergy can accomplish, you may enlist a small number of lay pastoral visitors to assist.  Do some training with them about what brief pastoral visits look like with masks and distancing, with no touching and no communion.  Determine carefully who might be at lowest risk to do visits, and who should not make visits because of the risks they would face.  Remember that the greatest risk of all will be to the persons visited and to their households, especially if they have been isolating and not had people come to their home in recent months.  Some of those persons may prefer not to be visited in person, but to continue to receive pastoral care from you via phone calls or FaceTime or whatever platform you use. 

Simple Online Pastoral Care - A helpful guide provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association 

Emotional Stages of Recovery from Disaster

Frequently Asked Questions in the Time of COVID-19 

Guidance on frequently asked questions is available here