June 23 update for clergy, wardens and treasurers

June 23, 2020

Regathering and HR Matters

Zoom Conversation on Regathering: Employee Considerations and Accommodations: Thursday, July 2, 3:30-4:30 p.m.  (Zoom link e-mailed directly to clergy, wardens and treasurers.)

The safety and well-being of church employees is of utmost concern as church offices and parish-related businesses consider reopening.  Deepa Desai of the labor law firm Morgan Brown & Joy will join for a Zoom conversation, hosted by Canon Bill Parnell, about specific concerns related to church employees.  In last week's June 16 update, this guidance from Morgan Brown & Joy was provided, to ensure that reopening is in line with CDC and Massachusetts directives, as well as best employee practices.  Join the Zoom meeting on Thursday, July 2 for a more detailed discussion and Q&A time.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Expands Criteria

The Diocese of Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has expanded its criteria for applications to include assistance with building technological capacity in our congregations.  The grant committee continues to welcome applications from congregations and organizations, including ecumenical, interfaith and community partnerships affiliated with the Diocese of Massachusetts.

The funds are to be distributed towards these four areas:

  • Ensuring salaried and hourly staff members and their benefits are paid.

  • Assisting at-risk households within the community and the congregation.

  • Assisting congregations with payment of building expenses, such as utilities.

  • Assisting with building technological capacity.

Grant applications will be considered for up to $5,000.  Applications will be considered on the 1st and 15th day of each month. Find more information and the online grant application form here .
Summer Sermon Videos Available to Congregations in July & August

Bishop Gates has invited the canons on diocesan staff and the cathedral dean to join him and Bishop Harris in each remotely self-recording a video sermon, to be made available for use by congregations in their online worship offerings on Sundays in July and August.  These are intended as a gift of support to the clergy, helping to enable them to schedule vacations or lighten their preaching rota.
The plan calls for each preacher’s sermon to be available by mid-week prior to their assigned Sunday.  E-mail news@diomass.org for download link. 
The sermons will also be available via a playlist on our diocesan YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/ediomass

The schedule is:

July 5:  The Rev. Canon Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa, Canon for Immigration and Multicultural Ministries

July 12:  The Rev. Canon Martha Hubbard, Regional Canon, Northern and Western Region

July 19:  The Rev. Canon Kelly O’Connell, Regional Canon, Southern Region

July 26:  The Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, Bishop Diocesan

Aug. 2:  The Rev. Canon Edie Dolnikowski, Canon for Ordained Vocations

Aug. 9:  The Rev. Canon Bill Parnell, Canon to the Ordinary

Aug. 16:  The Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan

Aug. 23:  The Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher, Regional Canon, Central Region

Aug. 30:  The Very Rev. Amy McCreath, Dean, Cathedral Church of St. Paul