COVID-19 Resources

A Faith-Based Response to Infectious Disease

During this season, the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas invites clergy, lay leaders, and congregations to commit to standard hygiene practices, to consider reasonable liturgical adjustments, to contact public health officials in their community for local conditions, to extend care and compassion to those in their congregations and communities who may be affected by the disease, as well as healthcare workers. Please keep the specific, local needs and current status of your community in mind while considering your congregation's response. 

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus disease 2019, is a respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, contact your health care provider and stay home to prevent the potential spread of the disease. 

This page is up to date as of June 4, 2020 5:00 p.m. CDT. General information, updates, and resources will be added to this page, as needed.

Communications from the Diocese & The Episcopal Church

Click here and sign up for email updates regarding the diocesan response to COVID-19 and other diocesan communications.

"Regarding Summer 2020 Church Apportionments"During its May 26th meeting, the diocesan Executive Board voted to authorize the Bishop’s Office to provide for apportionment cancellation requests for the months of May, June, July, and August, in response to the continuing economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic and upon request by individual congregations. This action provides for individual consideration and requires church leadership to provide financial information for each month for which relief is sought.  [June 2, 2020]

"Guidelines for Episcopal School Summer Programs"Guidelines for Episcopal School Summer Programs, effective between May 31 and August 31, 2020, require that School Heads and Rectors work together to draft and implement customized plans that honor the intent of the Guidelines for Phased Church Reopening while making practical, reasonable, and safe accommodations for the local needs of our schools. [June 1, 2020]

"The Next Right Step: Regarding the Phased Reopening of Diocesan Churches" - The Rt. Rev. David Reed offers a reflection, as well as clarifications and emphases as congregations plan to begin in-person worship following Guidelines for a Phased Reopening in effect after May 24th. [May 21, 2020]

"Extending Closures Through May 24, 2020" - "After Sunday, May 24th, "Phase Two - a Modified Return to Public Worship" will begin. During Phase Two, church offices may open and in-person worship services held, provided that their Covenant Agreement is returned to Archdeacon Mike Besson and that a congregation specific plan for modified worship, responsible social distancing, and increased cleaning practices has been developed and communicated to the congregation. During Phase Two, gathering in-person for Christian formation, fellowship, or other meetings is still off limits. This new date does not assume or require that all churches begin in-person worship at that point. And, we must all keep in mind that increased rates of community spread may require churches to delay reopening further or close again in the future." [May 8, 2020]

"Diocesan Ministry and Programming Updates" - The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas remains ready to support churches, Episcopal schools, and individuals during this season of physical distancing. Continue reading for program updates from diocesan ministries, whose leaders are adapting their programs in new ways to follow Christ during this pandemic and to serve our neighbors "with the eyes of our hearts enlightened." [May 8, 2020]

"Episcopal Diocese of West Texas Summer Camp Update" - Calendar changes for Camp Capers, Mustang Island Conference Center, and Duncan Park to Minimize Risk While Holding Summer Camp 2020 [May 8, 2020]

"Guidelines for Phased Reopening of Churches in West Texas" (Spanish translations: Bishop's letter; Guidelines; Covenant) - "From the start of our pandemic responses, diocesan leadership has sought to respond to the pandemic by keeping in mind three touchstones: do our best to take the next right step; love of neighbor; and distinguishing between what Christians can do and what we should do. The Guidelines you are receiving reflect those three priorities. Before you read them, please keep in mind these underlying principles..." [May 1, 2020]

Click here to open the "Frequently Asked Questions" document that was compiled following the release of the Phase Two Guidelines and clergy webinar reviewing them. [May 8, 2020]

Other communications from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese will be archived at the bottom of this page.

 

Public Health Information & Sanitization Resources

The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas is pleased to announce that diocesan churches and schools may order cleaning supplies and hygiene items in bulk through Ben E. Keith, long-time Camps & Conferences supplier. Interested churches may place their order by sending the DWTX Order Formrevised 05/22/20, to Caroline Mowen, Canon for Administration and Ministry Support, at caroline.mowen@dwtx.orgClick here to read more. [May 13, 2020]

Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities” - website published by the Centers for Disease Control with guidance on cleaning and disinfection of soft and hard surfaces, disinfecting electronics, the timing of disinfectant after a suspected COVID-19 case, and more.

"Ships, Planes and Other Spots are Getting a 'Deep Clean.' What's That Mean?- an article from National Public Radio explaining what ‘deep cleaning’ means.

Opening the State of TexasOn Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced the first phase of the plan to Open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 and released Minimum Health Recommended Protocols.

"List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2" - a list of surface cleaners approved by the EPA to disinfect surfaces from COVID-19.

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary - a webpage updated daily with information, guidelines, and resources in English and Spanish by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent the spread of disease and misinformation. Click here to view CDC resources specifically for community and faith-based leaders.

Concerning COVID-19 - a resource page from The Episcopal Church with general guidelines for churches and safe measures for equitable treatment of church employees

Faith-Based Response to Infectious Disease - a webpage curated by Episcopal Relief and Development with scientific information, print resources, liturgical resources, and weekly webinars to support church leaders and congregations.

 

Resources for Remote Worship & Formation

From the Diocese:

"God's People Speak to God" - Beginning late April, Adult Christian Formation will offer an 8 session Psalms Study with questions for personal or group reflection on their website. The study is appropriate for individuals, small groups, and congregational settings.

"Stewardship and Communications in a Physically Distant Church" - The diocesan Development and Communications Offices offered resources and ideas for how to stay connected as a church when we are physically distanced, via live webinar on Monday, March 30. Click the link above to view the recorded conversation. Click here to open "Resources and Ideas for Staying Connected While Physically Distant," a supplemental PDF produced March 30, 2020. 

"Digital Communications Resource Guide For Church Communicators" - a resource guide from the Diocese of West Texas Communications Department for online worship services and virtual meeting tools for ongoing church business, digital Christian Formation, and ministry meetings. [March 17, 2020]  

"Resources and Recommendations for Gathering as the Body of Christ Online" - "In order to support clergy and church leaders during this season, the Communications Office is providing a Digital Communications Resource Guide for online worship services and virtual meeting tools for ongoing church business, digital Christian Formation, and ministry meetings. With these tools, congregations and the diocesan staff can continue the missions and ministries of the diocese, while honoring the social distancing recommendations from public health officials." [March 17, 2020]

"Creating a Communication Strategy and Plan in the Digital Age" - documents from Council 2020 Communications Office workshop

"Christian Formation Resources for Families" - Christian Formation activities, videos, and devotionals for children and youth, recommended by the diocesan Christian Formation Committee [March 18, 2020]

"Liturgical Resources For Congregations Responding to COVID-19" - prayers, liturgies, and an order of Morning Prayer collected by diocesan clergy for families and congregations

Shared Congregational Resources Basecamp - a virtual workroom for clergy and lay leaders to share resources, pose questions, discuss ideas, and work together to sustain (and grow) our ministries during this season and beyond

Resources from Other Ministries and Organizations:

 

Worship Service Livestreams Within the Diocese

The following congregations are sharing live and recorded worship services throughout the week: St. Philip's, Beeville;  St. Francis, Canyon LakeAll Saints', Corpus Christi; St. Bartholomew's, Corpus Christi; St. Luke's, Cypress MillSt. Matthias', DevineSt. Barnabas, Fredericksburg; St. Nicholas, Hill CountryTrinity, Junction; St. Peter's, KingsvilleEpiphany, KingsvilleChrist Church, Laredo (English & Español); St. Peter & St. Paul, MissionTrinity, Port AransasChrist Church, San AntonioGrace Church, San AntonioHoly Spirit, San Antonio; Reconciliation, San AntonioSt. David's, San Antonio; St. Francis, San AntonioSt. George, San AntonioSt. Luke's, San Antonio; St. Margaret's, San AntonioSt. Mark's, San Antonio; St. Paul's; San Antonio; TMI Episcopal, San AntonioSt. Mark's, San Marcos; St. Andrew's, Seguin; St. Matthew's, Universal CitySt. Philip's, Uvalde; Grace, Weslaco

Members of the Coastal Bend Partnership: email Rev. Canon Bev Patterson for an invitation to weekly Zoom Worship Services.

"How to Update Service Times & Add Livestreaming Details on the Episcopal Asset Map" - step-by-step instructions for changing worship information, adding livestream details, and updating clergy and church contact information on the Episcopal Asset Map.

For recording or livestream questions, contact the Diocesan Communications Office, at communications@dwtx.org.

 

Other Information, Archived Communications, Resources, & News

"The Next Right Step: Extending Restrictions" (Spanish translation)- The Rt. Rev. David Reed extends the suspension of in-person worship and meetings through Friday, May 15th. [April 24, 2020]

"Plans Continue for Summer 2020 with Camps and Conferences" - a letter from diocesan camps directors providing an update on Summer 2020 plans. [April 6, 2020]

Churches or church schools interested in more information about the Paycheck Protection Program loans provided for in the CARES Act should contact Canon Caroline Mowen, at caroline.mowen@dwtx.org. [April 3, 2020]

"Tangible Resurrection: Keeping Holy Week in a Time of Distance" - Join Bishop Reed for a video mini-series as he reflects on the spiritual richness of walking the road to Jerusalem with Jesus during a Holy Week marked by physical distance. [April 2, 2020]

Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church: Tuesday, March 31 - "The breadth and depth of the Anglican way of common prayer can come to our aid now, when for the sake of others, we abstain from physical, public gathering to hear God's Word and to receive the Sacrament. With this in mind I convened a group to help me compose a theological reflection on how this Anglican way gives guidance in this moment. I hope this will be a framework, a theological context, or a signpost pointing in the direction of some of the wisdom of the Anglican way of common prayer." [March 31, 2020]

San Antonio Day of Reflection: Ecumenical Leadership Hour - A recorded panel discussion reflecting on the role and challenges faced by faith communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, with ecumenical faith leaders including Bishop Reed, hosted by the City of San Antonio [March 28, 2020]

"Diocesan Office Closes During San Antonio's 'Stay Home' Order" - Effective Tuesday afternoon, March 24, the diocesan office will close through April 9, in response to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County issuing a "Stay Home, Work Safe Order," restricting normal travel, work, and other activities. [March 24, 2020]

"The Next Right Step: Apportionment and Public Worship" (Spanish translation) - The Rt. Rev. David Reed announces the cancellation of April apportionment payments from every parish and mission of the Diocese, and extends the suspension of in-person worship and meetings through Thursday, April 30th. [March 27, 2020]

"COVID-19 and Summer Camp" - a letter from the diocesan Camps & Conferences Department to all camper families and churches. [March 20, 2020]

"The Next Right Step: Two-Week Suspension of Public Worship and Meetings" (Spanish translation) - Effective Wednesday, March 18th, the Rt. Rev. David Reed calls on all clergy and congregations of West Texas to cease gathering in person for worship and meetings until April 1st. In this way, we will join our communities’ and our nation’s efforts to slow community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. [March 18, 2020]

Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church: March 17, 2020 - "It is important to emphasize that suspension of in-person gatherings is not a suspension of worship. I very much encourage and support online worship. God bless you and keep the faith." [March 17, 2020]

"Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry"- "As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.' A new video meditation will be posted on Mondays, through May." -Presiding Bishop Curry [March 16, 2020]

"Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations releases Public Health and Policy Advocacy Document related to the coronavirus" - a media release from The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations, [March 13, 2020]

"A message from Presiding Bishop Curry related to worship changes during a public health emergency" - shared by the Most Rev. Michael Curry during the House of Bishops' virtual meeting, [March 12, 2020]

"Coronavirus: Safety Tips for Religious Organizations" - an article from Church Pension Group, [March 12, 2020]

"Presiding Bishop Curry: Statement on coronavirus" - The Most Rev. Michael Curry shares, "In this time when we are all affected by the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly, whether physically, biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and for many economically, it may be helpful to remember that we're in this together." [March 10, 2020]

"Resources and Recommendations for a Faith-Based Response to Infectious Disease: Guided by the CDC and Episcopal Relief & Development" - from the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, [March 4, 2020]