Update on coronavirus
This page will be updated as new information is received (last update on 4/2/20).
This is an unprecedented time for churches, schools and ministries to be involved in creatively meeting the needs of their communities. We are here as Seventh-day Adventist Christians to care for people by finding ways to meet spiritual, physical and emotional needs.
We must seek to cooperate with collective public health actions to help protect the health and wellness of our communities. This is a time for Adventist churches, schools and ministries here in the inland northwest to be proactive and prayerful as we take everyday preventative actions.
Information is constantly updating. Please comply with government mandates as they are announced.
Message From The President
Adventist Community Services
Frequently Asked Questions
— What are some resources for kids at home?
— Where can I livestream a worship service?
— How can we continue to give tithe?
—What upcoming events are still happening?
—Is the Conference still open?
—Is the ABC Bookstore still open?
Brothers and Sisters,
As more and more information comes in, I ask that you take a moment. Pause from the anxiety and fear and release it all to God. Remember to make prayer the central focus. Pray for your families, your neighbors, our churches and schools, and the many health care professionals who will be working tirelessly through this health crisis. Help others whenever possible and work to keep in touch through email and telephone with other members of your church.
We will be praying for you and your families. God's grace will see us through!
In His service,
Minner Labrador Jr.
The Upper Columbia Conference asks each pastor to work with local church and community leaders to monitor and evaluate the public health risks and concerns of the local congregation and community.
Effective March 17, the Upper Columbia Conference is requesting all churches to suspend meeting in person and move all services and events online.
We expect that each pastor will work in consultation with church elders and the church board, to:
Care for people: minister to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the elderly and the vulnerable of the congregation. Do all you can to provide a calming environment in this current climate.
Practice a high standard of preventative care including regular hand washing, social distancing, and refraining from shaking hands. Your health is very important to your ongoing ministry in the church, please take care of yourself.
Communicate with your church members that if they are feeling sick, they should stay home.
Make plans for online church services and meetings. Services are also available through streaming from HOPE channel, 3ABN, and He’s Alive TV.
Communicate ministry plans with the church family and conference leadership.
Discourage individuals at high-risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19 from leaving their home.
These high-risk groups include:
Any individual who is immunocompromised.
Any individuals age 60+ who have underlying medical issues such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
Any individuals age 80+ in any health condition.
Additionally, we ask that all churches:
Cancel all communion services, potlucks and fellowship meals.
Follow environmental cleaning guidelines, eg. Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly, including doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, and light switches.
Cancel meeting with any group larger than what is mandated by your state or local government. The White House is recommending no groups larger than 10.
If you become aware of a member who has contracted COVID-19, please notify Upper Columbia Conference Risk Management. We are a tight-knit faith community. It’s helpful for us to know which other entities a member may have connected with.
All these recommendations are in place until further notice.
What you can do now:
Please communicate this to your members as soon as possible. We will be using our website, newsletter, and social media to share. But we know the channels don’t reach all of your members. Please communicate well with your church family.
Communicate contingency plans for leadership so that there will be no pressure for leaders to perform duties if they are ill.
If you have a live stream, refer affected members to that link.
If you don’t have a live stream, please encourage affected members to stream one of the services from HOPE channel, 3ABN, or He’s Alive TV.
Encourage your congregations to diligently pray for God’s healing, direction and peace as we navigate this current health crisis.
In light of the announcements by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordering all K-12 schools in their respective states to close, we are following this directive to close all of our Upper Columbia Conference Oregon (effective Monday, March 16) and Washington (effective Tuesday, March 17) schools. All Idaho schools have also closed.
Several Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programs remain open in limited capacities per state and local agency guidelines.
Closed Monday, March 16 - until further notice. Our principals and teachers are working hard to provide meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for our students during this time to minimize the impact of the time our schools are closed.
Closed Tuesday, March 17 - Friday, April 24. We anticipate seeing our students back on campus on Monday, April 27. Our principals and teachers are working hard to provide meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for our students during this time to minimize the impact of the time our schools are closed. Our goal is to keep our children, families, and communities as safe as possible. These are trying times and our prayers are with you and your families as you adjust to these changes. We are hopeful that no further interruptions to face-to-face learning are necessary, and we are looking forward to seeing you back at school on April 27.
All Idaho schools are closed until further notice.
Resources for children
With so many decisions and adjustments being made to protect our communities from Covid-19, we do not want to overlook the emotional toll this can take on a child. Children will react and follow the verbal and nonverbal reactions of the adults closest to them. Because elementary, middle-school, and high-school students do not process information in the same way as adults, they are filtering these emotions and reactions much differently. This can lead to internalizing fears or stress overload. It is important to limit your child’s inputs to true information appropriate for their age-level and to provide positive, reassuring support.
We are hoping to partner with you in this journey by providing you with the following trustworthy resources:
How to support your child:
Elementary Age-appropriate explanation of Covid-19:
A simple little book to reassure children and to teach them the basics about the Coronavirus in almost any language you may think of!
Seven Ways to Support Kids with Anxiety about the Coronavirus
Exercises to Support an Anxious Child:
Take a walk outside together, see if you can match the inhale and exhale of your breathing with your steps.
Sing together, especially songs that are filled with gratitude and hope.
Hold the breath for four seconds.
Breathe out to the count of four.
Wait for four seconds before taking in your next breath.
To help your child keep track, show them how to draw a square in the air with their finger, taking four seconds on each side (Roman, n.d.).
Balancing on One Foot
Tell your child to focus her gaze slightly below eye level.
Tell her to stand on one leg and keep her gaze fixed on that focal point.
Challenge her to see how long she can stand on one leg like this.
Tell her to try the other leg.
Challenge her to stay focused while you engage her in conversation, ask her to sing a song, or tell her to close her eyes.
Use meal time to practice the five senses, focus on sense at a time
Read comforting Bible verses together
Check out this app for providing pauses during the day to reconnect with our creator:
The Pause App
Article on kids and anxiety with Coronavirus:
The greatest individuals at risk are the 60+ and those with chronic medical conditions regardless of age. While outreach ministries are important, there is nothing more important than the good health of our ACS volunteers—many of whom are 60+.
With this in mind, please follow these recommendations:
If your outreach is not absolutely essential and involved with the public, plan on taking a break from service for a few weeks/months until this covid-19 risk has passed. Please do this as soon as possible. Communicate this clearly with those you serve.
If your ministry is critical like a major food pantry, this becomes more complex which makes immediate action vital. Questions to consider:
Can two months of dry foods/canned goods be given to clients? (One diaper bank is giving a two -month supply of diapers in anticipation they will not be open in April. Only their youngest, non-high-risk team member is serving one-client at a time. She is still practicing social distancing. Only one client is allowed in the waiting room at a time, and a priority is doing everything they can do to let the clients know they love them even with these stringent measures! They also recognize they may need to close completely soon).
Bottom line: As recommended high-risk volunteers need to put distance between themselves and others – and stay at home as much as possible.
If your ministry has paid employees, please review your emergency business plan so they know what to expect.
What about planning a phone tree with your volunteers your last time together – sharing a scripture for the day! This can keep volunteers in contact with each other as well as checking on the well-being of one another. Human contact is so valuable.
What are some alternatives for children for worshipping at home?
This list is provided by the UCC Children's Ministries department. Here are a few:
Kids Club For Jesus
Voice of Prophecy – Discovery Mountain
It Is Written - My Place with Jesus
Children’s Mission Quarterly
North American Division Children’s Ministries Resources
Primary Treasure/Our Little Friend - (for pre-teen and younger), now available for free from Pacific Press
Guide Magazine - (for earliteens), now available for free from Pacific Press
Your Story Hour - Free stories offered every day from this popular radio show.
Sabbath activities and online church - This resource from the North American Division has many options for kids.
Sabbath activities and online church (Spanish) - This resource from the North American Division has many options for kids.
Storytime with Sherri and Gerry - Live storytelling every Friday evening at 4 p.m. (PST) on Facebook.
Stories of David and Daniel - From the International Camporee.
Adventist Family Ministries - Creating fun, easy family worship memories
Family Worship - Article on adventist.org, "Even you can have family worship."
It's Worship Time! - Creating family worship.
100 Creative Worship Ideas for Busy Families
What do I do with my kids in the house all day?
Below is a sampling of links that may be of value to our children as a new normal for weeks, or however long, sets in. The best is to have kids doing things physically inside and outside, whether reading, working or completing chores, learning from and about God’s Word, playing games, learning new skills or helping others. So please keep that in mind. But occasionally a field trip to view the White House or Carlsbad Caverns or checking in to an African Reserve via a Africam, can stimulate kids thinking as well impacting their lives for good. Links are not 100% vetted, so please use your judgement. Links are presented by the UCC Children's Ministries Department.
Animals Around the World - Livecams take you into Africa wildlife reserves where you may see elephants, giraffes, cats, warthogs, baboons, and more. Also livecams featuring hummingbirds, bears, cats, dogs, birds and much more.
Birds Around the World - The Cornell Lab Live Cams feature favorites including cams in Sapsucker Woods (Ithaca, New York), Panama Fruit Feeders (El Valle de Anton, Panama), Albatross in New Zealand, and many more.
Visit Art Museums
Additional museums, including the White House
A Place to Do Something
Vegan Family Kitchen - How to involve kids in cooking at all ages!
Dinner with the Doctor - Vegan cooking
Holy Cow Vegan - Vegan cooking
No Meat Athlete - Vegetarian recipes for athletes, but could work for anyone!
Digital Concerts - Enjoy a performance from the Berliner Philharmoniker.
US National Parks - Enjoy a virtual tour of the best National Parks in the United States.
Animal Tracking for Beginners - Whether mud or snow, this can be great fun. In some areas, you may only find tracks for cats, dogs, or squirrels. Try to figure what they were doing. But if you can get into a wilder area, it really gets exciting!
Animal Tracking - Learn how to identify animal tracks
Birdwatching for Kids
Nature Journaling - Each day encourage your children to go outside
Listen – what do you hear
Smell – skunk of course is no fun, flowers
See – Spring is here – lots of changes happen in plants and trees overnight. Note the progress
Ideas – for games, ways to make your yard more beautiful,
Feel – cold wind? Sun? Textures of plants
Planning a Garden
Plant a Garden
Seed Sprouts for Eating
Sprouting With Your Little Sprouts
Seed Jar Experiments
Rhythms of Play - Focuses on raising creative nature-loving kids – even shows you how to make mud pies, rainy day activities, nature journaling and even build a dam. Make outside activities a HIGH priority!
NASA - The entire library is now free and accessible.
STEM activities for kids - This site has 239 links to great STEM activities.
Vesselfinder - Helps kids explore and locate ships and they sail the seas.
Make Videos - Kid’s Club for Jesus is asking for videos of your children singing, playing an instrument, or preaching. Let’s develop these talents of our children and use them for the Lord!
Trip Planning - Let your child find a wild place not too far from your home, and with your guidance plan the excursion to do when you are able). What type of clothing (hats, sunglasses), best time of day, picnic lunch, what equipment needed – binoculars, blanket, flower/bird/animal tracking guides, hiking boots, camera, walking stick, etc.
Video from Southern Asia Pacific Division - A wonderful short and heart-warming video.
Where can I livestream a worship service for home viewing?
Check your local church website to see if they are livestreaming. If not, here are a few additional resources for livestreaming:
Walla Walla University Church
Amazing Facts TV
He's Alive TV
Loma Linda Broadcasting Network
Is there a way for me to pay my tithes and offerings online?
You can access online giving through our portal at https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANIIII/envelope/start
What upcoming events are still happening or have been cancelled?
We are still actively monitoring the situation and will make announcements regarding individual events as soon as possible.
Is the Conference open?
While the Conference offices are physically closed, all Conference employees are continuing His work from home. Payroll, Human Resources, and other functions will continue uninterrupted.
Is the ABC Bookstore open?
Yes, the ABC Bookstore will remain open and visitors are welcome to browse the store. Optionally, visitors can park in front of the store and phone in their order. Bookstore staff will come out and complete your order without visitors needing to come into the store.
Article on Social Distancing
Boosting Your Immune System by Dr. Wes Youngberg
Seminary Cinches Flu - A useful article from one of our union papers from 1918 about how a seminary treated the Spanish flu and prevented serious illness and death at a time when many people were dying.
What To Do If You Are Sick With Corona Virus Disease 2019 - From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How to Prevent Coronavirus and Build Your Immunity - Special presentation from Doug Bachelor with Dr. Neil Nedley regarding COVID-19 and faith.
Video on hydrotherapy fomentations - This video is a little on the slow side, but gives good instructions on how to properly do hydrotherapy fomentations.
North American Division response page
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Council on Aging Information Regarding COVID-19