Resources for Congregations


Advisory Opinion Regarding Communion 

PC(USA) National Easter Service

About Livestreaming Worship 

How to meet by Zoom

Music Licensing

From Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

Hymnal and Book of Common Worship Rights during Covid-19 Pandemic


Presbyterian Publishing grants rights to livestream or distribute photocopies anything in the hymnal (Glory to God) that is copyrighted by Westminster John Knox Press, which is around 30 hymns. Public domain hymns are always okay to use. But most copyrights are owned by others and we cannot speak for them. As of March 13, ONE LICENSE has posted an announcement about their response to the virus and gratis licensing is available through April 15. For more detailed information regarding the use of the Glory to God and 1990 hymnal during this time, please download our fact sheet. Note that as the rights situation changes we will update this document.

Book of Common Worship

We’re happy to grant gratis permission for use of any Book of Common Worship material copyrighted by Presbyterian Publishing. To determine if the material is owned by another publisher, please check for three small initials immediately after the text. If no initials appear, no permission is necessary! If initials do appear, the copyright holder will be listed next to the corresponding initials in the acknowledgements section on pages 1152-1154.

How To Keep Being the Church When Church Is Cancelled 

Stewardship/Giving/Online Offerings

A reality for all of us is that during this time, bills come in and tithes tend to go down. There are multiple solutions during this time. I have put a link to a website that breaks down multiple online platforms.

Best Church Online Giving Platforms

The top choices tend to be

2. EasyTithe

3. Givelify

4. PayPal

5. PushPay

The Presbyterian Foundation also offers online giving services.
You can find that information here.

Square is another dependable and user friendly platform. With Square there are no long term commitments and you can accept almost any type of payment. 

Regarding Stewardship

Business Interruption – Check your Insurance

Pastors if you have suspended your services due to COVID-19, check your insurance policy. You may have coverage for missed offerings or a ‘business interruption rider.’ In states where it is suggested to close and not mandated please advocate for your municipalities and states to make the mandate so you can have access to coverage.


Presbytery Mission Agency

Resources for Children…/35-tech-free-faith-forming-fun-… 

A link with lots of resources


Other helpful links

From the Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson

From the CDC

Bruce Reyes-Chow on worship by electronic means (webinar)

Another webinar – just register to watch the recording

An article about putting together worship by electronic means

Another article

U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes More Guidance for Workers and Employers Explaining Paid Sick Leave, Expanded Family and Medical Leave Benefits

U.S. Department Of Labor Announces Additional Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The stimulus package offers significant help with unemployment benefits, especially for those who would not normally qualify. At present the guidance that Jim Kirk (PDA) has seen is to go your state unemployment office. This link will take you to a site from which you can access your states unemployment office.

Coping with Stress

Share for those having a difficult time!

The national Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7/365 crisis counseling & emotional support continues to be available for anyone experiencing distress or other mental health concerns during the ongoing COVID-19 infectious disease outbreak. Calls (1-800-985-5990; press “2” for Spanish) and texts (text TalkWithUs to 66746) are answered by trained counselors from a network of independently-operated crisis centers located across the U.S.

The DDH is funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration & administered by Vibrant Emotional Health. SAMHSA tip sheets available for download include “Coping During Infectious Disease Outbreaks” & “Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During Infectious Disease Outbreaks”

Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks | SAMHSA Publications
This fact sheet provides tips for coping with stress during an infectious disease outbreak. It describes common signs of stress and how to…

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has recorded one hour webinars on resilience.

Phil Helsel, from Austin Seminary, was helpful to our pastors after Harvey. This is titled “Pastoral Care in a Desert Time”

How to do a Facebook Live Using Your Smart Phone

1 You will need to use your church account. You will need to know who is the administrator of your church account. You cannot do a live post if you are not an administrator or editor. You add administrators under “page roles”
2 Go to your church page and create a post. It will look like this.
Next, chose the “go live option”
Now you start the video. Once you started the video, point you camera in the right direction. I recommend setting your phone on a stand of some sort. Otherwise it will shake in your hand and you will lose the video quality. Once you are done recording, click finish and share. 



No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:24
The decision on when to re-open for worship and other church activities is complicated.  Each congregation has its own context.  A church of under 50 has different circumstances that a congregation of 600 or more.  Our congregations spread across 39 counties in Southeast Texas.  Some counties have had more cases of COVID-19 diagnosed than others.  One pastor said, “When I can make visits in the hospital again, we will consider reopening.”  Another said, “With all of the precautions, and no singing, and no bulletins, while keeping our social distancing, it just isn’t worth it to gather at this time.”
Each Session will need to determine what it best for their church community as they consider the health and well-being of their congregants.  In light of the number of cases in Houston and the surrounding counties, many have chosen to stay closed through the month of May to take a “wait and see” attitude with regard to COVID-19.  READ ARTICLE
While we can’t tell you what to do, we can strongly urge you to make your decisions carefully, and to consider remaining closed for a few more weeks.  Let’s not add to the grief that people are already feeling by rushing back to church which could contribute to the spread of this deadly virus.

There are so many things to consider for the health and safety of our congregations.  Although it seems that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has given the go ahead for churches to meet again, there are parameters which you can find here on pages 39-41

New guidelines from the Attorney General’s office are found here 

Another helpful article is found here   
Guidance from the Disciples of Christ suggests four phases:  Assessment, Decision, Communication and Implementation.  Here are more details for each phase: 
Assessment:  What are the groups that use your church facility?  Are you in a place with at least 14 days of declining cases of COVID-19?  Who are the people in your congregation and on your staff who might be vulnerable due to age or health conditions?   
Decision:  What are the local, state and federal guidelines advising?  From what county/zip codes does the staff and congregation travel from to get to the location?  What precautions will you need to take – face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, taking temperatures, as well as social distancing?  What will you do if people won’t comply?  What are the usual practices of your congregation regarding physical contact – hugs, handshakes?  How will you sanitize the space after each use?  What steps will the congregation take to ensure staff safety, health and well-being, both physical and mental?  What expectations does the congregation have of the staff members?  What are the financial implications if you have to provide personal protective equipment?  Will you need name tags with congregants wearing masks? How will you accommodate those with hearing impairments that need to read lips? What will you do about children’s programming and keeping both students and teachers safe? 
Communication:  How will you communicate your plan to your congregation and your community?  How will you convey the decision making process, and the consequences of not complying?  How will you show care for those that are in the vulnerable population that should not attend in person?  How will this message be clear and concise? 
Implementation:  How will you enforce your decisions if people choose not to comply?  Who, what, when and how will you do cleaning and sanitizing that is effective?  How will you obtain the supplies?   
Here is guidance from the Wisconsin Council of Churches 
Know that God is glorified as we worship virtually, and will be pleased with how we cared for the flocks with whose care we have been entrusted!