Frequently Asked Questions re: COVID-19 Response

Q. Given the Governor’s Executive Order 23 of April 2nd, can streaming worship continue?

A. Yes, clergy can continue to stream worship services from their churches where applicable.  The Governor’s March 30th statement (Order 22) listed Religious Rites as essential but indicated that guidance re: limits on numbers of participants, physical distance etc. should be followed.  Order 23 did not amend this section of Order 22.

Q. We have an idea about delivering communion/palms or having communion/palms available for pick up. Is this something we can or should do?

A. At this point we do not believe that anything that involves drawing people out of their homes is in compliance with the governor’s orders.  A small group may stream worship if they observe distancing guidelines and carry out their efforts with a minimal number of people (you can stream with far fewer than ten people present–as few as two for the Eucharist and as few as one for Morning Prayer.

Q. Our Canons require that a Mission Council/Vestry have a quorum present for a meeting to occur.  This presence is interpreted to mean physical presence. How can we make decisions while we are unable to meet in person?

A. You should make decisions using the technology at your disposal, e.g. teleconference, video conference and so forth.  A record should be kept of all such decisions, and when you’re next able to safely gather a quorum physically to conduct business, a resolution enumerating those decisions and affirming them should be passed and recorded.

Q. We have been encouraged to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act.  Because this is a loan, do we need the approval of Bishop & Council before making our application?

A. Our Diocesan Canons only stipulate that loans which alienate property need to be approved.  Because the loans of the CARES aren’t secured in that way, you do not need approval from the Bishop & Council.

Q. Our Mission Council/Vestry isn’t able to meet using tele-conferencing or video-conferencing.  How can I as a Priest or Treasurer apply for the Paycheck Protection Program without a vestry resolution?

A. Vestries or Mission Councils that can have a conversation using the method described above should do so, however, timing is crucial in these applications.  Please have a conversation between Priest and Wardens (or just the wardens if there is no priest serving at the present time in your congregation) before applying.

Q. The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Loan Application requires that applicants provide an EIN #.  Can we use the Diocesan EIN?

A. No, each congregation should have a unique EIN number.  While congregations may not have filed paperwork for separate incorporation as a non-profit, and have no individual IRS determination letter, Tax-exemption is a separate issue from the Employer Identification Number.  If you need to find your congregation’s EIN, you can look at the W2’s you’ve filed for employees.  See below: