Caring for Our Communities in Response to COVID-19

by | Mar 16, 2020

Dear San Gabriel Presbytery family,

This has been a stressful and confusing time as we all try to come to terms
with the rapidly-changing guidelines regarding Coronavirus. The current
thinking is for all of us to sacrifice our busy lifestyles for the continued
health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable. To that
end, and since we cannot know who is carrying the virus and thus risking
spreading it, it is important to consider how to restrict direct interaction
with others as much as possible, at least for the next month or so.
This weekend the Presbytery Executive Commission is considering whether
to cancel the March 28th Presbytery meeting; if so, we will announce in the
Monday Morning Update.

Please consider the following for your churches:

  1. Whatever you do, please consider the elderly (65 and older) and
    those with compromised health (heart and lung problems, diabetes,
    those taking medication that suppresses immunity or have
    compromised immunity). This means not only limiting physical
    exposure, but making phone calls and other ways to make sure they
    do not feel forgotten.
  2. The State of California has limited gatherings of over 250, and the
    City of Los Angeles is warning against gatherings in confined spaces
    of over 50. Remember to keep at least 6 feet away from each other
    when possible, and wash your hands whenever you can.
  3. For many of our churches, in-person worship is being curtailed, as
    well as most meetings. Several sessions are deciding to suspend inperson
    worship for Lent; others are looking for other ways to pray
    together by phone or email; others are still offering in-person
    worship but adding livestreaming and strongly encouraging people
    to stay home and joining via livestream. Click HERE for information
    on livestreaming (midway through the article).
  4. Many churches are suspending communion (or having only servers
    handle the elements and using individual cups), and offering plates
    should not be passed from person to person.
  5. Please look for ways to help others who are being more severely
    impacted. Make sure your church’s staff are not penalized for taking
    sick leave. Consider ways your church can support families with
    children whose schools have shut down, or elders who are isolated or
    worried about their retirement communities. Pray for and seek ways
    to help the most vulnerable neighbors, such as the homeless.
  6. Consider offering online giving for those who want to continue
    regular tithing. Your bank may offer an option for online giving or
    you might choose to use Paypal. Also, the Presbyterian Foundation
    can help you set up online giving.

MORE INFORMATION is available through the attached resources and
links. LA County has a section with resources in many languages, including
Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, etc. Go to, scroll down
to “Information For” and click “Other Specific Audiences,” which includes
“Faith Based Organizations.”

10:00 am to share questions, concerns, ideas, and best practices with sister

Click here for the details on the ZOOM call.
Click here for a video on how to join a ZOOM call.

Blessings and constant prayers of thanksgiving and concern for your
caring leadership.


Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Guidance for Faith Based Organizations

PC(USA) Resources for Churches Coronavirus: Faith, Not Fear