Paycheck Protection Program Update (April 19, 2020)

Paycheck Protection Program Update (April 19, 2020)

We are writing to inform you that the authorized funding for the Payroll Protection Program was used up last Thursday [see the link below].

https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2020-04-16/paycheck-protection-program-runs-out-of-money-as-additional-funding-stalls-in-congress

In the Diocese, we hope the Parishes did apply through their local banking relationships.  Your local bank has to be an SBA [Small Business Administration] lender. 

If you have not applied, we would encourage you to do so as soon as possible, even if this first traunche of funds is apparently used up

Across the country, other Dioceses have had success reaching out to smaller, more local or regional banks, as the national banks have generally been overwhelmed by the higher demand for SBA funding.

The Diocese has completed and submitted an application on behalf of the Mission churches.  If you are a Mission church, no action is needed at this time.

The most important thing is for Parish churches to apply and do it now if you haven’t yet.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/19/mnuchin-pelosi-say-very-close-to-a-deal-on-second-round-of-small-business-loans.html

If the program receives more funding from Congress, as expected, we expect another spike in demand.  It is likely that those PPP loan applications already in the queue for further review and underwriting will be processed before new applications.

Below, for your reference, is a link to our PP resource previously distributed.

Our blessings for your success.

Michael Dotten, Chancellor
Sydney Brewster Fitzpatrick, Vice Chancellor
Rick Grimshaw, Treasurer

Paycheck Protection Program Information for Parish Churches

The Federal Government, under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act is providing loans to small employers (including churches) to cover 8 weeks of payroll costs in an effort to assist employers in retaining their employees.  You should have received an email late last week regarding this. 

Click the button below download a spreadsheet to help calculate the appropriate amount of the loan your church should request if you have decided to apply for these funds.

The fact sheet and the application are also available below for you convenience. 

Please note that if the loan funds are spent on the approved payroll expenses (see fact sheet) the loan will be forgiven. 

Applications for these funds can be submitted through many banks. Please contact your bank for details on where to send your application. The application window is from April 3 through June 30. However, because the limited funds will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, it is strongly advised to submit your application as soon as possible. 

The diocesan chancellors are available to answer questions and offer assistance as needed.

More information on the CARES Act.

FAQs

Q: What should I enter in the “Applicant Ownership” section of the PPP loan application?
A: The diocesan chancellor suggests entering “Not applicable; non-profit religious organization.”

Q: What types of supporting documentation are required?
A: While you must check with your lender for their specific requirements. The following types of documents are likely to be required:

  • Payroll processor records for the period including February 15, 2020
  • Payroll tax filings for 2019
  • Other documentation to support payroll expenses, such as bank records
  • A complete Paycheck Protection Program application

For more information visit the US Department of Treasury at: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses

Paycheck Protection Program Information for Mission Churches

Mission churches considering applying for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act should not apply on their own.  Because payrolls for mission churches are processed using the diocesan EIN (employer identification number), the Diocesan Finance Office will make one application on behalf of the mission churches as well as the diocese. 

Loan proceeds received by the diocese will be made available to mission churches through a process to be announced in the near future. 

Thank you, and look for more information to come. 

Again, if you are a mission church, please do not make a separate application to the Paycheck Protection Program.

More information on the CARES Act.

The Skin of Our Teeth

By the Rev. Lawrence Crumb, vicar of St. Andrew’s, Cottage Grove

The American playwright Thornton Wilder, best known for the high-school favorite “Our Town,” also wrote a play called “The Skin of Our Teeth.” Written during World War II, each act takes place just before some great catastrophe (the Ice Age, the Flood, a long-lasting war) that threatens to destroy the human race and civilization as it was known.

I once attended an outdoor performance in Wisconsin, where summer weather is unpredictable. In the scene before the Flood, one character said, “It’s starting to rain,” and it really did. Fortunately, it was just a brief sprinkle, and the performance continued.

The message of the play is that no matter the disaster, the human race has always survived, if only “by the skin of our teeth.” That is a good message for the people of our nation and of the world as we face the coronavirus.

There is often a light moment in tragedy, and it came for me as I listened to Sylvia Poggioli reporting on conditions in Italy. When she mentioned the Papa Giovanni hospital, I thought, “That’s a cute name for a hospital.”

Then I realized that “Papa Giovanni” is Italian for Pope John. I well remember Pope John XXIII, who was elected in October 1958, just after I had entered seminary, and died in June 1963, just before the end of my first year in parish ministry. He summoned the Second Vatican Council, which continued under his successor, Paul VI, and also taught us how to face death, saying just before his own death, “My bags are packed.”

Holy Week and Easter will be very different, as we watch the services of other churches on the internet and read them, or parts of them, from the Prayer Book at home. One way or another, we can reaffirm our belief in the risen Christ and experience the joy of Easter.

Wilder’s message of the survival of the human race has its spiritual counterpart in the life of the Church, which has survived persecution, natural disasters, and competition from other schools of thought and ways of life.

I was taught in seminary that the Church is not infallible, but it is indefectible – that is, it will never completely die out. We have Jesus’ promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18) and that he will be “with [us] always, even unto the end of the world.” (28:20)

COVID-19 Information Page

As we continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 virus, watching for signals from national, state, and local officials and listening carefully to leaders in our neighboring states and dioceses, the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon is committed to do all in our power to slow the progress of the spread of this virus.  

To provide a central source of information for our churches, we have created a COVID-19 Information page on our website. This page will be updated frequently with news and resources for the churches of our diocese. Please check back regularly for pastoral instructions from Bishop Michael, information on participating in online worship, and other helpful links from The Episcopal Church. 

Click here to go to the COVID-19 Information page.

COVID-19 March 13 Update

Dear People of God:

Following discussions this day with several diocesan clergy and others I am directing all Episcopal Churches in the Diocese of Oregon, beginning on March 22, to discontinue all public Sunday services for the remainder of the month.

I also ask that you take other measures you deem necessary to safeguard the people in the church, keeping in mind the request to practice social distancing. This may include closing the church during the week as well and canceling midweek services.

As I continue to monitor the situation with the COVID-19 virus, watching for signals from national, state, and local officials and listening carefully to my sister and brother bishops in neighboring dioceses, it has become apparent to me that we must do all in our power to slow the progress of the spread of this virus. It is in that spirit that I make this directive.

Many congregations here in Oregon and across the country are already making the decision to close for a limited period of time and I invite you to consider this a Lenten fast from the practice of regular Sunday attendance at worship. I hope that you will watch for news from your local congregation about ways the leadership is working to keep us in touch with each other during this period of time.

As these weeks unfold we will see if this directive needs to be extended for additional time. We are a resurrection people and Easter is coming. Let us continue to walk the way of the cross, the way of Jesus, and to pray for the safety of those most vulnerable.

You remain in my prayers,

Bishop Michael Hanley
Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

COVID-19 March 12 Update

Dear Friends in Christ:

For the past three days the bishops of The Episcopal Church have been meeting virtually for our spring House of Bishops meeting. During this time, we have addressed several important topics, not the least of which is our response to COVID-19. The situation we are facing is new and changing day by day and as leaders in the community we are all called to make the best response to insure the safety and security of everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.

I have also been working closely with Heidi Pitts, our diocesan Communications Director, and we have been monitoring the state and local government news about how we should be making decisions concerning church meetings at this time. We will continue to do so and we will make changes to our recommendations as they are deemed necessary. Please continue to look to us and to other reliable sources as you make your own decisions about how to respond to the spread of the virus in your context.

At present the governor of the state, Kate Brown, has asked that meetings of over 250 individuals be canceled. She has said nothing specifically to the religious community and no request has been made to discontinue worship services of under 250 people. Out of an abundance of caution the diocese has made the decision to cancel or postpone a number of events that are scheduled for the next several weeks. We will continue to evaluate these decisions as needed.

Please know that should the clergy in charge of a congregation decide to cancel Sunday services, I will support them. Should the clergy in charge of a congregation decide to continue with Sunday services, I will support them. As the Presiding Bishop shared with us, this is a situation in which local context is key and it in that spirit that I offer my direction to you.

Please do also be aware that pastoral care is of critical importance in this issue. There are people who will experience a heightened sense of social isolation if they are prevented from connecting with others on Sunday morning. My question to you is, how might you mitigate that isolation with other forms of connection?

Should anyone have questions or concerns I do hope you will reach out to me and or to Heidi as we continue to try to offer best practices that are the best hope for the community in the coming days. Please remember Christ’s calling to be not afraid and live in the hope of resurrection.

Bishop Michael Hanley
Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

COVID-19 March 9 Update

Dear People of God in the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon:

Grace and peace to you in the Lord. Over the past several days, I have been much in thought and prayer concerning how we respond to the COVID-19 virus, which is spreading quickly in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

While I am certainly not a medical professional, I have carefully read reliable sources of information available from government and medical sources. I have listened, as well, to the good counsel of my fellow bishops and many wise and informed diocesan clergy.

Yesterday, governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency so that extra resources can be available to assist in testing and supporting the most vulnerable. At the time of this writing, Oregon appears to have relatively low numbers of cases and there is no need to be alarmed.

However, as you no doubt have seen yourself, information is ever-changing and at times contradictory. There is no way to know all that we might desire to know to make appropriate changes in our lives in response to the current situation.

As people of faith, we are invited to live in the love of God and in concern for our friends and neighbors. This is not a time to react in fear, but rather to be pro-active in ways that promote the common good.

Following are my instructions to the clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon:

  1. Hand washing: Please expect staff (and remind all those attending) to wash hands often and correctly. This link from the Centers for Disease Control offers instruction for effective practice.
  2. Passing the Peace: Before the passing of the peace, please instruct those present to greet one another with a smile and simple bow. Please note the rubric on page 407 of the BCP that allows the exchange of the peace to be moved to the time of the administration of the sacrament, just before or after the sentence of Invitation. This would allow for a verbal only peace.
  3. Remind the congregation and staff that, if ill, they should not come to work or attend Sunday services.
  4. Communion: In a number of our churches, the practice of offering both bread and wine at communion has been discontinued. While I am not mandating that change at this time, I fully support that position. (Note that the priest should consecrate a chalice with wine for their own consumption only. I would also remind you that, in Lent, it would be perfectly appropriate to offer Morning Prayer and a sermon instead of Eucharist.)
  5. Hand sanitizers: Insure that hand sanitizers are available at the church entrance and in the chancel, either purchased products or approved homemade recipes. This link on Popular Science provides two recipes that meet the requirements for effective homemade hand sanitizer.
  6. Intinction: If using the common cup stop this practice, including intinction by the Eucharistic ministers.
  7. Holy Water: Remove holy water from all fonts.
  8. Sunday Eucharistic visits: Please suspend these visits at this point. Of course, please take other measures, such as cards or phone calls, so that shut-ins and others at risk are assured of our love and care.
  9. Offering plates: End the practice of passing offering plates among the pews. Place a plate at the back of the church or other convenient place or have ushers (who have sanitized their hands) extend the plate while holding on to it. Please instruct those counting monetary offerings to take appropriate precautions.
  10.  Watch carefully for future communications. I will immediately send revised instructions if circumstances require.

As you implement these instructions, I’m sure other ideas may arise. I leave it to the clergy to implement other appropriate measure on behalf of their communities. Please contact me online or by phone with any suggestions, questions, or concerns.

Know that you continue in my prayers as we seek to be the body of Christ for the care of the world.

In Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Michael Hanley
Bishop of Oregon

Other resources for churches:

Disaster Preparedness Checklist: Coronavirus

From our Disaster Preparedness Program coordinator Sheryl Gerety (sheryl.gerety@gmail.com): a monthly checklist to help us tackle preparing for a disaster in manageable steps.

Now that medical authorities can document that people have been made ill by the coronavirus (COVID19) in the city of Lake Oswego, we know there is a greater possibility that our diocese will see this illness reach our congregations. The following information comes from experts who spoke during a webinar organized by Episcopal Relief & Development for diocesan disaster preparedness coordinators. 

Why?

The cases in Lake Oswego are community-sourced, which means that the virus is and has been circulating throughout the community, likely for many weeks. This is similar to Kirkland, Washington where a number of residents of a care facility have fallen ill, and some have died. The virus affects older age groups more severely than children and younger people. It is a danger to anyone with compromised immunity, including those with diabetes, heart problems, kidney and liver disease. 

Where will the coronavirus go next?

A likely route of transmission would be the I-5 corridor, with the virus transmitted by already infected but asymptomatic people stopping for coffee, meals, gas, sneezing/coughing near others, and touching common surfaces with unwashed hands. The same path of transmission might occur along the OR101 corridor. Anywhere people go, the virus will spread. 

What to do?

Now is a good time to ask questions, select policies and practices that could very much help us through as this new disease runs its course. Adopting the following procedures and policies now as a kind of emergency drill to prepare for this disaster may help church members understand this is a temporary change, and will help keep safe those who don’t have the ability to fight off such a novel virus.

Guidelines and considerations for churches

Church clergy and leaders should discuss the following questions:

  • What if we need to cancel services for a few weeks?
  • Can we provide alternative/virtual means of worship?
  • Is working remotely possible for office staff? Could we take a half day to practice working remotely to try it out?
  • How will we maintain plate income if services are cancelled or attendance drops significantly?
  • Should we encourage taking communion from the common cup or abstaining from the wine and discourage intinction?

Junior Wardens should find ways to:

  • Have bottles of hand sanitizer available in each pew, or be sure a centrally located main dispenser works and is used
  • Position wastebaskets in bathrooms so that a paper towel can be used to open the door on the way out and then be dropped into the wastebasket
  • Sanitize altar rails, pew tops and backs, hand rails, elevator/lift controls, and door handles frequently

Congregations should be ready to support:

  • Workers who do not have paid sick leave and may be worried about money
  • Families who may be in need of child care and lunches/breakfasts for their children if schools close
  • Parishioners who become ill and may need meals, shopping assistance, or transportation

Practices for Altar Servers at Eucharist

  • Learn and use sanitary protocols including frequent hand washing and refraining from touching their faces
  • Present the chalice at face height to discourage communion by intinction
  • Discuss and implement a plan for performing communion by intinction if communicants insist on this method

Other considerations:

  • Encourage parishioners to stock up on prescription medications as their insurance will allow, since many pharmaceuticals are manufactured in China and the supply chain will likely be disrupted
  • Keep in contact with people using the phone, internet, and handwritten notes. Don’t let this situation cause you to withdraw into fear or isolation.

Diocese of Oregon Disaster Preparedness Contacts

Sheryl Gerety sheryl.gerety@gmail.com
Annette Rankin arrmft@gmail.com
Episcopal Relief and Development
Episcopal Asset Map

Visit our Disaster Preparedness Program page for more checklists and resources.

Information on the Coronavirus

Dear friends,

Below is helpful information (in English and Spanish) on preventing the spread of the coronavirus from the Rt. Rev. Diane Jardin Bruce, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles. With +Diane’s permission, I share these guidelines with you for observance in your churches, homes, workplaces, and schools.

I do want to offer one note on the practice of intinction (dipping the bread or wafer into the common cup during Eucharist). Several studies have shown that intinction may pose a higher risk of spreading germs than drinking from the common cup. Therefore, if any individual has cause for concern (such as a compromised immune system) or symptoms of illness and does not wish to drink from the common cup, they are encouraged to practice what is called “Communion in one kind” – that is, receiving the bread and then crossing their arms for a blessing when the cup comes to them.

In Christ,
Bishop Michael


My siblings in Christ:

Lenten blessings.

As you may know, I recently returned from nearly two weeks in South Korea and Taiwan. Bishop Taylor asked me to share with colleagues and the whole diocese my experience of how churches close to the epicenter are handling the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. These are guidelines for us all to follow – at church, at home, and at work — as concern grows about the possibility of further outbreaks in the United States:

1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. All the time. All day long. Many of you may know that before I celebrate Holy Eucharist, I always find a sink and wash my hands with soap and water. Especially now, this is a good precaution for the celebrant so people can know the church is taking this situation seriously.

2. Alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizer should be used by anyone distributing communion bread and wine.

3. In both Korea and Taiwan, many received the bread and acknowledged the cup with a bow as it came by. This is a good moment to remember a core principle of our Eucharistic theology: That the sacrament is complete when administered in just one kind (in this case, the consecrated bread).

4. At the peace, people bowed to one another or waved and said “Peace be with you” to their neighbors. No handshakes or hugging.

5. At all times, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – the places germs enter the body.

6. When you cough, cough into your bent elbow, not into your hand. If you have to blow your nose, dispose of the tissue as soon as possible in a waste container with a lid that closes and either wash your hands immediately or use an alcohol-based liquid to sanitize your hands.

7. Keep your distance. We don’t have to be in each other’s faces to talk. This is particularly important if someone is coughing or sneezing.

8. Try to avoid large crowds, especially where you will be cramped or pushed together. I know this is hard for people who commute on buses or trains.

9. Whenever possible, use Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype for meetings.

10. If you’re sick, stay home! Encourage others to stay home if they’re sick. Don’t hesitate to go to the doctor and to urge others to do so.

11. Create systems for wellness checks in the congregation, especially older people whom you haven’t seen for a while.

12. If your congregation has a food ministry, follow the World Health Organization’s recommendations regarding food safety.

Up-to-date information is a good antidote for anxiety. Visit the website of the World Health Organization for frequent updates. Go to the page below and click “Protect Yourself” to find downloadable materials in Chinese, English, Spanish, and other languages as well as information about how to deal with anxiety over the disease: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The biggest lessons from my Asia visit are to use common sense, don’t be anxious, get plenty of rest, and eat as healthily as you can.

Holy and gracious God, give us the strength to meet the health crisis looming around us. Enlighten researchers that they may discover the right vaccine against this disease. Guide the doctors, nurses and all medical technicians working with those who are infected to take correct actions for their care. Protect all medical staff and family or friends caring for those who are ill. Bring together the governments and governmental agencies around the world to work together to eradicate this health threat. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce
Bishop Suffragan
Diocese of Los Angeles


Mis hermanos en Cristo:

Bendiciones cuaresmales.

Como sabrán, recientemente regresé de casi dos semanas en Corea del Sur y Taiwán. El Obispo Taylor me pidió que compartiera con mis colegas y toda la diócesis mi experiencia de cómo las iglesias cercanas al epicentro están manejando el brote de COVID-19 (coronavirus). Estas son pautas que todos deberíamos de seguir, en la iglesia, en el hogar y en el trabajo, a medida que aumenta la preocupación sobre la posibilidad de nuevos brotes en los Estados Unidos:

1.   Lávese las manos frecuentemente con agua y jabón por al menos 20 segundos. Todo el tiempo. Todo el día. Muchos de ustedes saben que antes de celebrar la Sagrada Eucaristía, siempre encuentro un lavabo y me lavo las manos con agua y jabón. Especialmente ahora, esta es una buena precaución para el celebrante para que la gente pueda saber que la iglesia está tomando en serio esta situación.

2.   Cualquier persona que distribuya pan y vino de comunión debe usar desinfectante líquido para manos a base de alcohol.

3.   Tanto en Corea como en Taiwán, muchos recibieron el pan e hicieron reverencia hacia el cáliz al pasar. Este es un buen momento para recordar un principio básico de nuestra teología eucarística: el sacramento esta completo cuando se administra un solo tipo (en este caso, el pan consagrado).

4.   Durante la paz, la gente hizo reverencia el uno al otro o saludó y dijo “La paz sea con usted” a su vecino. Sin darse la mano ni abrazo.

5.   En todo momento, evite tocarse los ojos, la nariz y la boca – los lugares donde los gérmenes entran al cuerpo.

6.   Cuando tosa, tosa en el codo doblado, no en la mano. Si tiene que sonarse la nariz, tire el pañuelo lo antes posible en un basurero con una tapa que se cierre y lávese las manos inmediatamente o use un líquido a base de alcohol para desinfectar sus manos.

7.   Mantenga su distancia. No tiene que estar cara a cara para hablar. Esto es particularmente importante si alguien tose o estornuda.

8.   Trate de evitar grandes multitudes, especialmente en lugares donde estarán muy apretados o estrechos. Sé que esto es difícil para las personas que viajan en autobuses o trenes.

9.   Siempre que sea posible, use Zoom, GoToMeeting o Skype para reuniones o juntas.

10.   ¡Si está enfermo, quédese en casa! Anime a otros a quedarse en casa si están enfermos. No dude en ir al doctor y anime a otros a que hagan lo mismo.

11.   Construya sistemas para controles de bienestar en la congregación, especialmente con las personas mayores a las que no ha visto por un tiempo.

12.   Si su congregación tiene un ministerio de alimentos, siga las recomendaciones de la Organización Mundial de la Salud con respecto a la seguridad alimentaria.La información actualizada es un buen antídoto para la ansiedad. Visite el sitio web de la Organización Mundial de la Salud para obtener actualizaciones frecuentes. Vaya a la página a continuación y haga clic en “Protect Yourself” (protéjase) para encontrar materiales descargables en chino, inglés, español y otros idiomas, así como información sobre cómo lidiar con la ansiedad sobre la enfermedad:https://www.who.int/es/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Las lecciones más importantes de mi visita a Asia son usar el sentido común, no estar ansioso, descansar lo suficiente y comer lo más saludable posible.

Dios santo y misericordioso, danos la fuerza para enfrentar la crisis de salud que se avecina a nuestro alrededor. Ilumina a los investigadores para que puedan descubrir la vacuna adecuada contra esta enfermedad. Guía a los médicos, enfermeros y todos los técnicos médicos que trabajan con las personas infectadas para que tomen las medidas correctas para su cuidado. Protege a todo el personal médico y a la familia o amigos que cuidan a los enfermos. Reúne a los gobiernos y agencias gubernamentales de todo el mundo para trabajar juntos para erradicar esta amenaza a la salud. Todo esto lo pedimos por Jesucristo nuestro Señor. Amén.

Suya en Cristo,
La Reverendísima Diane Jardine Bruce
Obispa sufragánea
Diócesis de Los Angeles