Dear North Georgia Conference Clergy and Church Members,
As we receive information regarding the COVID-19 virus and hear of the increasing number of cases reported in our state, I strongly urge that Sunday worship services be cancelled through the end of the month. We will closely monitor this situation and be back in touch after Sunday, March 22.
Please use your discretion in deciding whether to hold smaller gatherings like small groups and Bible studies.
Your Cabinet, as long-time United Methodists and shepherds of churches, recognizes that weekly public worship is an essential part of our method and a vital spiritual discipline. We also recognize our need to gather for worship in times of anxiety and uncertainly. Now, however, our public gathering may violate Wesley’s first general rule, which is “Do no harm.”
We know from healthcare officials that the virus is highly contagious but that with effort we might slow the rate of infection in order to allow our health care services to respond appropriately.
Under these highly unusual circumstances, the safe course of action is to stay home and avoid exposure. Please call a friend or a prayer partner, and read comforting Scripture or devotional materials to calm your spirit. Be sure to call your pastor if you are especially troubled.
We all need to be good stewards and keep tithes and offerings current even when we are not present at worship. We are compiling a list of live-streamed or recorded worship services at ngumc.org so that you can watch online.
Know that you are in my prayers.
With gratitude for you and your leadership,
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson