Guidelines for Virtual Congregational Meetings in SEPA

date Posted: December 9, 2020

A number of congregations have requested guidance on holding meetings remotely using teleconferencing or virtual technology during the current pandemic. This document attempts to address some of the issues that need to be addressed in preparing for and conducting meetings in this way.1

This document is applicable for both regular meetings of the congregation, and meetings to extend a call to a rostered minister. IF YOU ARE CALLING a rostered minister, consult with your Conference Dean and the Office of the Bishop PRIOR to establishing the process for the congregational meeting to extend the call.

According to Pennsylvania Law, congregations are technically exempt from the restrictions on in-person gatherings established by the PA Department of Health. HOWEVER, we of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA encourage our congregations to ADHERE to these limitations. We encourage this compliance out of a need to care for the neighbor, and to assist in mitigating the spread of the corona-virus and Covid-19. We do not see this as an attack on our freedom to gather, but a responsibility we have as followers of Christ to care for our broader community, and especially the most vulnerable among us. Even as limits increase or decrease, please remember the need to wash hands, wear masks, and keep at least six feet of distance between each participant. This may mean that even if you are allowed more persons in your space by percentage, keeping physical distance may reduce that number. The current limits on in-person gatherings, for both indoor and outdoor events, can be found at this link:

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