An Updated Statement from Bishop Harvey Regarding Coronavirus

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
March 12, 2020
As new information is made available to us, it is incredibly important to continually evaluate the latest advisements as they relate to Coronavirus and COVID-19. 
After much consideration and prayer, it is my recommendation that churches in the Louisiana Conference consider postponing any activities that bring together large groups of people. In some instances, this might mean Sunday worship. However, I trust your church leadership can make the best decision based on the most current information available. 
Out of an abundance of caution, I have canceled or postponed all Louisiana Conference events and meetings for at least the next two weeks unless they can appropriately be conducted using technology. 
I would encourage all of us to begin embracing technology and thinking creatively about ways to engage our communities. There are numerous ways you can continue to share the gospel. Use your cell phone to videotape a series of messages, post a series of social media messages, post your sermons in a blog post, jump on Facebook LIVE and hold a prayer vigil for your community. The point is - to stay engaged. While we absolutely should practice human distancing, we should not practice spiritual distancing.
As people of faith, you know better than anyone how critical these days are as we exhibit the love of Christ in all that we do. Continue to check on your neighbors, particularly the elderly and most vulnerable. Use good judgment, and if you can use technology to stay connected, please do so. 
This is a great time to update phone numbers and email addresses of members of your congregation. Provide opportunities for online giving so that you can continue to do the important ministry in the communities you serve. Of one thing I am certain, God is with the people of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

We are resilient. We know what to do in times of disaster and chaos, and we know how to be the Body of Christ at a time when the world needs it most. 
Simply put, you know how to love! Keep loving in the name of Jesus Christ!

Thank you for your faithfulness!

Grace and Peace, 
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
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