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Livestreaming funerals - charge or not?
In General Discussions
Homebound ministry & COVID?
In General Discussions
Homebound ministry & COVID?
In General Discussions
Safe environment for vulnerable adults during this time
In General Discussions
Jamie Moloney
Apr 22, 2020
Lori Hannasch from St. John Neumann: We began making our outreach calls on March 20th using volunteers from our pastoral care ministries who all have E3.  We provided each caller with a spreadsheet of 15 individuals along with training materials, a call script and resource pages (which includes parish and community information).  The callers are given only the individuals name and phone number.  Our spreadsheet has them color code their conversation as RED, YELLOW or GREEN.  I use this method in Curanotis (my pastoral care database) and I find it helpful.  If callers feel someone is in a RED situation, they notify me immediately.  If someone is YELLOW, they note this on their spreadsheet and that individual receives a little extra follow up TLC (extra phone calls, cards and bulletins mailed, etc.) Some examples of RED or YELLOW would be someone needing food, medication, extra spiritual support, etc. We continued our outreach efforts utilizing other ministries as well.  We also had parishioners stepping up who now have free time due to COVID-19 and wanted to assist with the outreach efforts but they were either not E3 or were in the process. I reached out to Julie Crisp (Program Liaison for the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment).  She advised me that as long as callers were only making check in calls, E3 was not necessary.  For any volunteer callers that are not E3, we as a parish have them sign the Code of Conduct before they are given a list.  I vet these volunteers and some are comfortable making the outreach phone calls and others are better suited to assist us with making the homemade cards that we are sending out to some of our more isolated parishioners.  All callers, in their training materials (and they are also reminded in my note when the information is emailed out), are told that should any problems arise (classified RED - people needing further assistance, help with food, medication, etc.) they are to contact me immediately and we’ll connect with the individual and take it from there. To date, we have surprisingly had fewer people in the RED or YELLOW category than we were anticipating.  It has done my heart good to hear of all the ways family and friends are stepping up to help out individuals. We do have a partnership with The Open Door food shelf to assist us where there are needs. We ask the outreach callers to make three attempts to reach the individuals.  If they are unable to reach the them (number no longer in service or no voicemail), we then send the individuals a ‘checking in from SJN’ email or, if no email address is on file, we are snail mailing them a letter. We are finding that everyone is so appreciative of their faith community connecting with them during this time of distance and suspended Masses.  And not only is it a great way to stay connected but a side bonus is that we are cleaning up our database.  We are finding many who no longer have a landline, have moved out of the parish, or have a new email or physical address. We began our outreach to households with parishioners over 70 years old and have continued working our way down by age.  We are currently reaching out to households in their 50’s and plan to continue our outreach downward as we are able during this time of crisis. On a side note – I have continued to drop off things like palms, bulletins, letters and note cards to our senior living facilities on a regular basis.  They have been so appreciative to have us continue connecting with them in this small way during this time of isolation.
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Safe environment for vulnerable adults during this time
In General Discussions
Jamie Moloney
Apr 22, 2020
Beryl Schewe from Our Lady of Grace: Thanks for sharing the efforts of our colleagues. I wanted to respond, especially to Jolaine’s question about whether we rotate the caller or not. Here is what Our Lady of Grace is doing: Seniors Connect: a new ministry to respond to COVID that pairs every senior in our parish who is 70+ (a total of 692) with a pastoral minister. The PM calls once a week to check in, offer to pray with the senior and make sure there are no concerns that we need to know about or could help with. The Pastoral Ministers were invited from our Stephen Ministers, Homebound Ministers and Long Term Care Team. This was the obvious, easiest choice because they’d all be trained and are all E3. Each volunteer committed to take 10 seniors and call each week for the duration of the Pandemic. I emphasized that this was a BIG commitment, and that it would not be a weeks or months long assignment. We intentionally do not rotate ministers, hoping to forge a strong and meaningful relationship. Our ministers report that each week, the calls get longer. Seniors are hungry for connection and grateful for the outreach. Any senior who said “I’m fine, no need to call back,” will get a call back in a month. A month from now, we are more likely to have been touched personally by the virus—someone we love may have been hospitalized or died. I did not want to let my volunteers off the hook because in  Mid-March, when we started the ministry, we were “all fine.” OLG Connect: will pair every household (under 70) with a volunteer for likely a one time call or an infrequent check in. This ministry will be staffed by our Faith Formation team and is in the early stages or formation. Funerals: We’re still having funerals at OLG. 10 people. Pragmatically this means Priest plus 9 family members. No server, no sacristan. I work with the family but stay off camera. We live stream every funeral and the live stream team is in the crying room, not the sanctuary. We keep the musicians away from the family and the psalm is sung from the piano mic, not the ambo. If there are Pastoral Ministers who have funerals are part of their job responsibilities—either funeral planning, working with the family day of, or graveside burials,  I am offering a Funeral Workshop through ALM (Association of  Liturgical Ministers) on Thursday April 30th. This will be a ZOOM meeting, starting at 9am. I hope we can gather some COVID best practices and possibility brainstorm ideas. If you would like to register, contact Kellen O’Grady at kogrady@seasparish.org. It’s not the format we intended, but it’s the format we will work with! Finally, I have attached an article about the communion of saints and how we never really “die alone.” I hope it is some solace. Here is the link to the Eden Prairie paper if this is easier. https://www.swnewsmedia.com/eden_prairie_news/news/opinion/columnists/spiritually-speaking-with-covid-19-live-in-the-cloud-of-unknowing/article_e6dea3c1-e87b-5794-b6b1-82f8971d9cf6.html
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Jamie Moloney

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