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Congregational Resources during COVID-19

During the rapidly evolving pandemic, please know that your congregation is not alone. We offer this short list of resources that you might continue your work faithfully and safely.


Looking for different resources? Get information that meets your needs by connecting with us at info@thecrg.org or click Chat with an Expert at the bottom of this page.


Resource List for Online Church

This succinct guide quickly connects leaders to information on a variety of topics: COVID-19 processes and checklists, streaming software and equipment, faith formation, online giving and recorded webinars.


Concerning COVID-19

The Episcopal Church provides guidelines for compassionate Christians, instructions for live streaming and mass messaging, plus creative worship and faith formation resources.


Coronavirus Resources for the Church

This Wheaton College resource center offers a congregational planning manual (also available in Spanish), a free weekly webinar to prepare congregations for the coronavirus, a free online summit starting March 26, as well as tip sheets and links to top resources.


How to Lead Calmly in a Global Outbreak

In this article, experienced pastors George Mason and Mark Wingfield provide a pep-talk for faith leaders to lead calmly in a time of crisis.


Q&A: How to care for the elderly without putting them at risk of coronavirus

In this article, the chief medical officer at AARP offers advice for common COVID questions and how to support elderly loved ones.


Virtual Shabbat Box

Create a virtual shabbat with short meditations and readings. Instead of a physical group gathering, engage the senses through rituals that heal the body, mind, and spirit.


Resources for Community- and Faith-Based Leaders

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers official information for emergency planning and action steps, verified information about the virus, cleaning and disinfecting practices, and important organizational practices.


Three Big Communication Mistakes Organizations are Making During the COVID-19 Crisis

Communications leader Kem Meyer offers advice to organizations about communications during the pandemic.


For The CRG Created For The CRG
4 Steps to Free Community Data

In the last few years there’s been a surge of congregations interested in their communities. Nearly 10% of all Center for Congregations calls include some type of community involvement. For many congregations, the first step is to gather data about the area.

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) provides the ARDA Community Profile Builder, a free demographic data tool for clergy and lay leaders to learn about people and assets in their communities. This unique tool allows users to view the many characteristics of their communities by searching by ZIP code or local address.

How to Use the Community Profile Builder


  1. Go to this web address: http://www.thearda.com/demographicMap/ and enter your ZIP code, city and state, or address in the box at the top of the page and click “Go.” After clicking “Go,” the map will take you to your community and show you all congregations in the area.

  2. Enter the radius (in miles) that you would like the online tool to include. One option is to think of driving distance. How far do people typically travel to attend your congregation?

  3. Click on the map to set the center point for the radius you selected. A dashed circle will appear showing you the areas from which the tool will draw its data.

  4. Click the “Profile” button. This will generate your report for the area you selected.

The generated report can include eight different community metrics from religion and housing to income level and ethnicity. It can even include population projections.

Using the Data

This data can help your congregation consider community needs before investing your resources. As an example, in the report you just created look at the Gender/Age tab. A growing number of children could mean an opportunity for children’s programming or a daycare. On the other hand, if there are no young adults nearby, you could make a strategic decision to focus your efforts elsewhere. You might even consider a new building location based on community factors.Want to start learning about your community based on data and not conjecture? Go to http://www.thearda.com/demographicMap/ to get started!

ARDA’s Community Profile Builder is completely free thanks to generous support from the Lilly Endowment and others. The ARDA, which is housed at Pennsylvania State University and has been online since 1998, has more than 16 million pages of content, from profiles of hundreds of past and present religious groups in America to denominational reports and survey findings. Thanks to ARDA Assistant Director Andrew Whitehead for providing this information.

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Reinventing Sunday
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Jewish Values and the Coronavirus
This resource hub supports value-based leadership and ethical decision making during COVID-19.
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Parish Evaluation Project (PEP)
This consulting organization provides a large variety of consulting services and is best known for the Parish Assessment and Renewal Process (PAR), a seventeen day assessment of all aspects of parish life leading to a strategic plan.
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PovertyCure: From Aid to Enterprise
This network of organizations promotes solutions for poverty that empower poor communities and move beyond assistance.
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The Congregational Resource Guide
The CRG (Congregation Resource Guide) is an online tool designed to help leaders of all congregations find the right resources to address their unique challenges and needs. Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Center for Congregations was founded in 1997 to help Indiana congregations address their needs through resource consulting, educational events and grants.
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