COVID-19 Resources

During this time of change due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our intention is to provide updated information to help you make important decisions for the well-being of your members and your church.  This page contains information and resources that may be useful as you and your church live into what comes next.

The Conference Office: Conference staff are working remotely and continue to be in touch and available via email. All Conference staff also have the ability to check voice mail remotely. One or two staff members will be in the building during regular office hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm MT) to receive mail, phone calls, and otherwise be present in the space. The Office will not be open to receive visitors or guests. Email and phone are the best ways to contact Conference Office staff.

If you find that you cannot pay your pastor, you must notify the pastor and the District Superintendent as soon as possible. Short-term efforts to shore up finances (a direct appeal to the congregation, enhanced/special online giving, etc.) should be explored first, but if these are not sufficient, short-term emergency grants from the Conference’s Commission on Equitable Compensation may be available.  In order to make a request for a short-term grant, you will need the following information: (1) a letter to your District Superintendent and the Commission on Equitable Compensation requesting help with the amount requested, (2) your anticipated income and current unrestricted balance in checking account(s), (3) your anticipated expenses, and (4) a copy of your pastor’s Compensation Form that was approved at Charge/Church Conference in 2019. Your District Superintendent is the point of contact for this work.

Emotional Assistance: The HealthFlex plan offered by Wespath includes an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for clergy and their families.  Call 1-800-788-5614 anytime for confidential help.

What if I have additional questions or need more information? Contact Alli at alli@nmconfum.com and follow the New Mexico Annual Conference Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NMConference/

RESOURCES

Statements from the NM Conference Leadership
July COVID-19 Pastoral Letter
Bishop’s April 30th Announcement on COVID-19
Bishop & Cabinet Statement - COVID-19
Video from Bishop Bledsoe & Cabinet – COVID-19
Provost Letter regarding COVID-19
Congregational Vitality Message - Friends in Ministry
Conference Disaster Response Organizers: COVID-19 Initial Guidance & Getting Faith-Based Orgs Ready for Flu Pandemic
Conference Insurance Company: Think HR When Business Threats Are Contagious –  Coronavirus Safety - Houses of Worship
Sacramento Camp & Conf Center Press Release

Safety & Preparedness 
Center for Disease Control Website
NM Public Health Site
NM Guidelines for Houses of Worship
TX Public Health Site
TX Guidelines for Houses of Worship
State of NM Site
(The State of TX COVID-19 info links to the TX Public Health Site.)
CDC Guidelines for Faith Communities (Resources also in Spanish)
Hand Washing Guide

CARES Act & Financial Assistance 
Updated CARES Act Loan Forgiveness FAQ’s
Financial Relief Update - May 14, 2020
Local Church Resources for the Paycheck Protection Program
NMAC Financial Assistance Announcement
Paycheck Protection Overview
Paycheck Protection FAQs
Paycheck Protection Application
The CARES Act
Paycheck Protection App Example - Baltimore
PPP Loan Application Guidance for Local Churches
Form 990 Instructions
GCFA Q&A
Wespath Info on Staff Support
Five Tips for Managing your Church Budget During COVID-19

Worshiping & Working Online 
Tips for Recording & Streaming Online
Telling the Old Story in a New Time Webinar(Please do not share.)
CCLI Licensing Website
ZOOM Meeting
Remote Access – LogMeIn

Communion
Council of Bishops moratorium on “virtual” Communion
This Holy Mystery-A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion
Love Feast – Book of Worship
Virtual “Love Feast” by Marcia McFee
On Second (or Third) Thought…Mea Culpa!-Rethinking Holy Communion

Baptism
By Water and the Spirit” precludes “private” baptisms.

Returning to “Normal”
Safely Returning to Worship - Sovereign FAQ's
Guidance from Provost on Returning to "Normal"
Re-Launch: A Conversation on Embracing the Ministry Possibilities of 2020
Returning to Church – Wisconsin Conference
48 Questions to Ask Prior to Re-Opening your Church
Re-Opening the Church: 4 Phases for an Orderly Return
Conference Insurance Company Suggestions for Returning
Helpful Links for Reopening from Sovereign Insurance
Sample COVID-19 Waiver