COVID-19: Southwestern Union Response and Guidance
The leadership of the Southwestern Union is taking steps to protect and support employees, members, churches and schools during the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The Southwestern Union strongly believes that we have a responsibility to care for each other during this situation by limiting physical contact and supporting social distancing. We also believe that we should continue to serve as God’s messengers of hope in our communities, utilizing the technology and tools available to us to continue the mission during this turbulent time.
The goal of these temporary changes is to provide a buffer of protection to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. In addition to the steps we are taking at the Southwestern Union, we encourage members to follow the safety guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and healthcare professionals.
We urge our faith community to take this matter seriously as we represent Jesus Christ in our behavior, stewarding our health and homes and those of our fellow neighbors. Join us in prayer as we lift up the many families affected by this outbreak. May the Lord bring comfort, healing and restoration. May our faith be strengthened during this time as we draw nearer to Him.
This page will be regularly updated with any new recommendations or information.
Southwestern Union Office
In seeking to limit the potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southwestern Union administration has voted the following:
- Southwestern Union-sponsored events and in-person meetings are canceled until June 24, 2020, effective immediately. This includes:
- Southwestern Union Executive Committee – March 18 (virtual meeting will be held in lieu of in-person meeting)
- Equipped for Ministries Lite, Albuquerque – March 28
- Pathfinder Bible Experience, Keene – March 28 (virtual option being discussed)
- Prison Ministries Training, Burleson – April 3
- Men’s Ministries Training, New Orleans – April 28
- Faith and Finances Stewardship Symposium, Dallas – May 1
- SWUC K-12 Board of Education, Burleson – May 11 (virtual meeting will be held in lieu of in-person meeting)
- As of March 19, 2020, the Southwestern Union office will operate with the majority of its employees working remotely until April 13, 2020. Should you need assistance, please contact the front desk: 817.295.0476 and the operator will be able to connect you with the staff member you need. Virtual meeting technology will also be used wherever possible. The Southwestern Union Revolving Fund will remain open. We prefer to take care of transactions electronically at this time, but if members need to come to the office they are asked to please call ahead and make an appointment, prior to coming into the office.
- Southwestern Union work-related travel is canceled for all employees through April 30.
- The Southwestern Union will continue to monitor the situation and will review these protocols for the Southwestern Union office and staff on a regular basis as new information becomes available. If you have any questions regarding cancelled events or meetings, please contact the department director. View our staff directory here.
Churches and Schools
In agreement with the North American Division recommendations regarding this unprecedented situation, the Southwestern Union recommends the following guidance for the churches and schools in our territories regarding the response to COVID-19.
Churches and schools are urged to follow health and safety guidelines being established by local, state and federal governments regarding public meetings and size limits on gatherings. Church and school leadership is encouraged to stay connected with their local conferences as this situation continues to evolve and conditions change from one location to another. Thank you for explicitly following the instructions of your local conferences during this health crisis.
The use of technology where possible to provide virtual church community and ways for members to connect with each other is highly encouraged. Please see a list of resources for churches and members below. In addition to streaming options, we’ve provided a short list of churches offering online services. Members who wish to continue to support church ministry through tithe and offerings may do so by visiting AdventistGiving.org or by downloading the Adventist Giving app from the Apple or Google Play stores.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19 Resources for Households
- World Health Organization COVID-19
- Adventist Risk Management’s webpage
- General Conference Adventist Health Ministries
- U.S. Department of State travel advisory page
- How to Stream Your Service
- Digital Evangelism – Connecting Members and Mission Through Technology
- How to Add Online Giving to Your Church’s Website
Live-Streaming Church Services Online:
Check out the live-streaming directory.
- Adventist Giving Online
- Adventist Giving App: Apple App Store
- Adventist Giving App: Google Play Store
- Adventist Giving: Video