In-Person Worship and Available GrantsPosted: June 18, 2020
This Sunday, June 21, churches in the Nashville Episcopal Area, the future Tennessee Western Kentucky Annual Conference, are invited to return to in-person worship. With the necessary safety measures in place, worship will not look like it did before the pandemic.
While you are invited to resume in-person worship, you are certainly not required to do so. We also recommend that you do not resume in-person worship until your local health officials deem that it is safe for you to gather.
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) still moving through our communities, some of our churches have discerned that it is best to suspend services until July or even August. I affirm these decisions reached through the cooperative efforts of our lay and clergy leaders.
I hope that you have reviewed the provided guidelines and have taken this time to carefully prepare safe in-person worship. I also hope that you have prepared to continue reaching those with whom you have connected digitally during this time of suspended in-person worship. This includes those you have reached for the first time, as well as those who choose to continue worshipping virtually from home.
Our Guidelines for In-Person Worship during COVID-19 were developed and distributed a few weeks ago to support you as you prepare for in-person worship. You may notice that our final version of these guidelines also bears the new logo designed to represent our future conference. We all are in this together as we move into our mission as the Tennessee Western Kentucky Conference.
It is also my pleasure to announce grants to support churches in providing a safer in-person worship experience. These are supported by the generosity of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College, and the Tennessee Conference Golden Cross Foundation.
These funds will be used to help reimburse local churches for expenses related to the purchase of appropriate masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. Please take advantage of this support, if you need it, so your church can provide a safer worship experience for those who return to an in-person service.
Please go to twkumc.org/covid-19-guidelines-grants/ for more information about the Safer Worship Grants as well as for the latest version of the Guidelines for In-Person Worship during COVID-19.
May God bless and keep safe our clergy and laity as they discern the right time to return to in-person worship, and be with them as they make that return.