Guidelines for Regathering for In-Person Worship
From Bishop Thompson’s Office
- Mask Mandate Effective Immediately (Issued December 20, 2021)
- Indoor Mask Mandate Lifted (Issued October 28, 2021)
- Mask Mandate Reinstated for Church Gatherings (Issued August 4, 2021)
- Statement on the Delta Variant (Issued July 15, 2021)
- Updated Guidelines Diocese of Louisiana (Issued May 18, 2021)
- Update Guidelines Diocese of Louisiana (Issued April 2021)
- Phase 3 Guidelines Diocese of Louisiana (Issued 9/20/2020)
- Eucharist/Baptismal Practices
- Stages For Reopening Church Buildings For Worship (Issued 6/2/2020)
- EDOLA Re-Gathering Guidelines FINAL (Updated 5/6/2020)
From State and Local Government
- Gov. Edwards, LDH Update COVID-19 Guidance, Recommending All Louisianans Now Wear Masks Indoors for the Duration of Louisiana’s Fourth COVID Surge (Issued 7/23/2021)
- Phase 3 Places of Worship Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (Updated 3/2/2021)
- Phase 2 Places of Worship (Issued 6/1/2020)
- Office of State Fire Marshal Phase 1 Places of Worship (Updated 5/13/2020)
- Previous versions:
- Office of State Fire Marshal Guidelines Places of Worship Phase 1 (Issued 5/11/2020)
- State Fire Marshal Memorandum Regarding Outdoor Religious and Places of Worship Venues (Issued 5/1/2020)
- Department of Education Child Care Guidelines (Issued May 7, 2020)
- City of New Orleans Guidelines
From the Episcopal Church and Other Sources
Pastoral Notes from Bishop Thompson
- March 12 Pastoral Letter from Bishop Thompson: Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- March 13 Statement from Bishop Thompson following Governor John Bel Edwards’ Proclamation
- March 16 Pastoral Letter from Bishop Thompson: Churches to Close Doors Until Further Notice
- March 17 Pastoral Letter from Bishop Thompson: Regarding church services, feeding programs, funerals, and on-campus activities
- March 24 Clergy Conference Call Recap. Topics: CPG; Holy Week and Easter; Solomon Center; Lambeth and General Convention Synod; Stay in Place Order and Church Services; “Eucharist to Go”; and prayers for clergy.
- March 31 Clergy Conference Call Recap. Topics: Stimulus plan; Holy Week and Easter; CPG; Stay in Place Order; Chrism Mass; Bishop Visitatons;
- April 7 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: PPP, Renewal of Vows, Triduum; Copyright and licensing guidelines; Sermon at Cathedral on Easter Day; No clergy call on April 14
- April 21 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: Presentation by Mary Munger, LCSW; Online Giving Platforms; Re-entry around social distancing guidelines; PPP
- Pastoral Note from Bishop Thompson: Update on COVID-19 Guidelines: Virtual Church Gatherings Extended Until May 15th
- April 26 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: Regathering Steps
- May 5 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: A pastoral note to the clergy of the Diocese of Louisiana
- May 12 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: Letter About Worship Practices; Survey for Churches; Phase 1 Reopening for Places of Worship from Louisiana Governor’s Office
- Letter to the clergy from Bishop Thompson Regarding Worship Practices During Phase 1 Reopening
- May 26 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: HB334; Ascension Sunday Service Thank you; Meeting with Treasurers ad Wardens
- June 2 Clergy Conference Call Recap Topics: Hurricane Preparedness; Stages of Re-opening Church Buildings for Worship; Protesting the death of George Floyd.
Please keep those who are ill, caregivers, first responders, and medical providers in your prayers. Check often on the elderly, vulnerable, and those who you have not heard from in some time.
- Each evening at 8 p.m. we are posting prayers and reflections from the clergy of the diocese. You can view them on Facebook here, Instagram here, YouTube here, or Twitter here
- Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will post a weekly reflection called “Habits of Grace” on Mondays. You can watch them here.
- Book of Common Prayer online
- Episcopal Relief and Development Prayers and Liturgies
- Prayers for children after a disaster or tragedy from FORMA
- Daily prayer by Forward Day by Day
Faith-Based Response to COVID-19
- Episcopal Relief and Development’s Faith-Based Response to Epidemics
- Episcopal Relief and Development Webinars. Webinars address issues reagardings mental health, substance abuse, family/partner violence; continuing ministry in a safe manner; and institutional support systems.
- CEEP Network Resources for the COVID-19 Crisis. Watch recordings of webinars on church administration, communications, stewardship, finance, insurance, live streaming church services, and more.
- Lifeline Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary is holding online office hours for anybody needing help in digital ministry and how to best serve our communities of faith. Register here.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, handling diapers, preparing food or using the bathroom.
Selfcare During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Episcopal Diocese Anxiety Talk presented to the clergy on April 21 by Ms. Mary Munger, LCSW, Tulane University
Your Brain Won’t Work As Well: Tips for Spiritual Leaders during Covid-19 by Pastor Emily Scott
Online worship services in the Diocese of Louisiana:
- Christ Church Cathedral has a live broadcast of their 10 a.m. Sunday service. You can listen to it on the radio at WGSO 990AM or online here: https://wgso.com/ or listen to an archived recording of the service on their website here .
- Click here for a list of churches with a livestream of their services and those with sermon archives.
Useful guides on live streaming church services:
- How to Broadcast a Facebook Live Event in 5 Easy Steps
- How to use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide
- Livestreaming Advice for the Best Quality Video
- Zoom Best Practices
Options to livestreaming to Facebook Live:
What if Facebook Live is no longer an option? Do you have a Plan B? Here are a few ideas:
- Video the entire service beforehand. People can even video their parts separately. Upload the video to Facebook and YouTube and use the “premier” feature. It will schedule the video to publish at whatever time you need it to and send out a notification to your followers that the video is now available to view. Here is a tutorial on how to do that. Warning: People are reporting that it is taking hours to upload a 30-minute video. Plan well in advance of when you want your video to appear on Facebook.
- Other streaming services such as Streamyard or Onestream.live
- Record your service as a podcast and upload it to sites like iTunes, SoundCloud, BuzzSprout, or Google Play Music. You can share it to your social media sites. Just like the video option, people can record their part separately. A tutorial will be added soon. Here is an example from Grace Church, Newton, MA.
Creating Safe Church and Online Space
- Follow the Safe Church guidelines. Here is a video tutorial on creating a safe online space.
- Protect yourself from Zoombombing. That is when “trolls” join the meeting to intentionally cause disruption or share inappropriate images or messages. They usually find these meetings from Zoom links found in public places such as social media or websites. Learn more Zoombombing and how to prevent it from Episcopal Cafe here and Forbes here.
Copyright & Licensing Information for Livestreaming
- To legally broadcast copyrighted music, poetry, art, books, movies, plays, etc in your live streamed services, you must have a streaming license or use music in the public domain. Please read this document regarding U.S Copyright Issues Related to Live Streamed Music. Also, refer to the Caffeinated Church’s Streaming Copyright Guide
Purchase a streaming license:
- OneLicense catalog includes The Hymnal 1982 and other hymnals authorized by the Episcopal Church
- CCLI has a catalog of over 300,000 Christian songs
- CCS has a catalog of over 17 million songs and covers both secular and Christian songs from all genres.
Public domain sources:
- Public domain hymns
- Public domain secular song list
- Poetry in the public domain
- Many famous art galleries and museums have a digitized collection of art in the public domain free for download.
- Literary works in the public domain
Resources guides from various platforms:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/1636872026560015
- Embed Facebook Live Video on a Website: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-video-player/
- YouTube: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2474026?hl=en&ref_topic=9257984
- Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/meetings
- Guide to stream Zoom Meeting to Facebook Live: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115000350406-Streaming-a-Meeting-or-Webinar-on-Facebook-Live
- Zoom Webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar
- Twitch: https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/how-to-stream-on-twitch/
Read Funding Ministry During the Covid-19 Crisis on the Episcopal Church Foundation blog.
- PPP Availability (A letter from our Diocesan Treasurer 6.27.2020)
- SBA Faith-Based FAQ
- Paycheck Protection Program Overview
- Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Information Fact Sheet
- Borrower Paycheck Protection Program Application
- American National Bank Guide to Understanding SBA Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application