In these unusual times

We are living in unusual times.

I give thanks for the faithful, adaptive leadership of our United Methodist pastors and congregations. As your Chief Pastor, I pray for you all daily.

Two weeks ago, many of our communities were upended by a devastating tornado. Just as we were beginning to make sense of our new normal, the coronavirus raised its head and caused us to take unusual steps to help stop the spread of the virus.

I appreciate the quick adaptability of many of our churches this past weekend and your plans for the Sunday to come.

But, this global pandemic is not over. New information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it will affect us in our various contexts emerge every day.

While there is so much uncertainty, one thing I know is our deep Wesleyan heritage commands us to love God and love our neighbors by doing no harm.

We need to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in and through our church settings, so our already-burdened healthcare system in our communities is not overwhelmed.

Please continue to monitor and abide by best health practices being offered by our Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Later this week, we will make more resources available to you on how to have worship in this unusual reality we face.

We all must be adaptive during these uncertain times.

As you might imagine, this includes the work of the appointive cabinet.

Because of this adaptive challenge, the cabinet is moving its final week of appointive work for the 2020-21 year later to April 13-17.

This means:

  • Clergy who will be involved in moves this summer will be notified April 17, along with pastor/staff parish chairpersons.
  • Congregations receiving a new pastor will announce their projected appointments on Sunday, April 19, during worship.

In closing, I want to personally thank you for your prayers in the death of my mother,  Laudis Lorene Long McAlilly, on Thursday, March 12. She lived a good, faithful life of a servant and died a good death. After her recent stroke, we had some quality moments with her until she died unexpectedly in her sleep. Our family has been richly blessed by the power of the United Methodist Connection in these days of grief and loss.

During these unusual times, I still claim with Paul that “nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”  Let us hold fast to the faith that formed us and follow Christ into the future unafraid.