Planning and Preparedness: Best Practices for Local Churches

We are now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the information from our first Re-Launch Guidelines from April, and the Frequently Asked Questions recommendation from May, are still current and accurate.

However, we feel the need to provide an updated set of guidelines as we move into a new season of ministry.

These updated guidelines come from Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, the District Superintendents, and our Conference leadership team. Please direct any questions or comments to your district office so we can continue to address and share responses to the whole Conference.

We encourage you to review and share the West Virginia Conference Re-launch guidelines with each member of your church’s Re-launch team and to schedule time to walk through them together.

Follow this link for Re-launch guidelines and FAQ's.


Follow this link for special messages for local churches from Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball. 

Letter from Bishop SandraGuidelines in response to closures
What the Local Church Can Do

Important links for up to the minute information.

West VirginiaDepartment of Health
CDCCenter for Disease Control

Ideas and tips directed to financial leaders across the church to help with sustaining the church and its ministry as we live through these Coronavirus (Covid-19) days.

Church TreasurerResources

The Centers for Disease Control is constantly updating their information so that leaders may be well informed. Here is a link to their faith-based community page

CDC Group Gathering Guidelines

Local Churches are searching for ways to connect in meaningful ways with their congregation.

Follow this link for local church communications tips and resources. (This resource will be updated daily, so check back often.)

Local Church CommunicationsTechnology and Worship Resources

Families, Youth, and Young People are impacted in many ways by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shea James, Director of Youth and Outdoor Ministries offers these ideas for kids of all ages!

Resources for families, youth and young adultsGreat ideas you can do at home!

WEconnect and Unity Recovery are partnering together to offer 4 daily all recovery meetings to anyone in the world.

Meetings will follow an open format and are available to anyone in or seeking recovery.

Digital Recovery MeetingsOpen to all seeking recovery

On Communion Sunday –
what else can we do?

The Sacraments of Communion and Baptism are essential in the life of our churches.  But life and protecting the most vulnerable must be our main concern as we battle against Coronavirus, Covid-19.  

Fortunately, as United Methodists, there are alternatives!

Read more here.


Self care is very important.

In fact, discussing health in the church dates back to John Wesley, who wrote extensively about staying physically healthy as well as spiritually healthy. 

Follow this link for some helpful ideas to care for yourself and others in your church  family.

A special word for the Church and church leaders:

First and foremost, remain in prayer for those affected by this virus and their caregivers.

As the visible presence of the body of Christ, the local church is the place where members grow in faith and discipleship, putting their faith into action through ministry in the world. By understanding our calling, our connections and our context, we have a foundation on which we can better prepare for and respond to disasters as the people of the United Methodist Church.  (UMCOR Connecting Neighbors Training Course)

If you have any questions whatsoever contact your district office or feel free to reach out to the conference via email:

In short, the concerns are:

  • Immediate vicinity of COVID-19 infected persons where droplets from coughs, sneezes, or breath can be inhaled by other people.
  • Active droplets from sneezes or coughs from infected persons that have settled on surfaces.

The best way to limit the spread of disease is through proper preventive measures.

*This document is a compilation of information from various sources including: The Centers for Disease Control, The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Baltimore-Washington Conference, and Rev. Jeremy Smith, a United Methodist pastor who serves in the Seattle, Washington area, which is currently at the frontlines of the outbreak.

Additional information from The United Methodist Church may be found here.