Join us Wednesday, May 20th at 3:00 pm for a Conference-wide webinar focused on the re-entry guidelines.
While Governor John Bel Edwards announced the state will enter Phase 1 of reopening effective Friday, May 15, United Methodist churches in Louisiana have been asked to wait until May 31st for in-person worship.
There are multiple reasons for this and they are outlined in the guidelines found here.
In this webinar, we will have a conversation about what to expect between now and when churches will re-open. What can you be doing now to best prepare? Why is this so important?
Join Dr. Van Stinson, assistant to the bishop, and several pastors and church leaders from across the Conference as we help one another prepare for the re-gathering of our church communities.
Space is limited for this webinar - so please register soon. While space is limited, we will still make the webinar available on-demand.
"I have been inspired in recent days by the clear and overwhelming desire by United Methodists in Louisiana to re-gather for worship," Dr. Stinson said. "Not being able to gather is difficult for us all; for gathering is in our DNA as Methodists. Together, we will learn how best to prepare for re-entry while upholding Wesley's first general rule, do no harm. I hope you join us as we take our next faithful steps as United Methodists in Louisiana."
More on the Guidelines
As we now begin to anticipate a return to public, in-house worship, we recognize and accept that things are not going to return to what they were before COVID-19; therefore, how we live out our mission as the church will not return to what we have always known. We must continue our tasks of imagining, adapting, and developing new ways of being the church.
Our first rule as Wesleyan Christians is to “do no harm.”Working towards reopening should be done intentionally with careful consideration given to your local circumstances and ministry context, which may mean that even after restrictions begin to be lifted, in certain locations, some congregations may choose to delay reopening based on their local circumstances.
We must always prioritize the protection of those most vulnerable to the virus, many of whom are participants in our churches’ ministries. Our return to public worship is not, and never should be, based on our own comfort, desires, or preferences.
To be faithful, we are called to be willing to do what is best for others, even when it requires us to make sacrifices.
We also recognize that there will not be a one-size-fits-all approach to this startup. Those who are vulnerable (those over 65 and/or with preexisting conditions) are encouraged to be abundantly cautious and should take precautions while the virus is still affecting their community.
Starting up in rural, less-populated areas could be different than in higher-density population centers. However, all of our clergy, congregations, and leaders should be aware of and follow the following guidelines and considerations.