Cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed throughout the state of Indiana. As I write this on Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Indiana Department of Health Coronavirus Dashboard reports that Lawrence County has a “7 Day – All Tests Positivity Rate” of 13.72%. The arrow next to the rate is pointing up.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble, Resident Bishop of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church has recommended that all churches immediately “suspend in-house worship and in-person meetings of groups for the foreseeable future until the number of COVID cases improve. This will likely include making alternative plans for the holidays.”
I’ve enclosed a copy of Bishop Trimble’s missive with this letter because he also has some very comforting and encouraging words to all of us who are heartbroken at the announcement. Therefore, it is my sad duty to inform you that Bedford First United Methodist Church will comply with the Bishop’s request beginning Sunday, November 22, 2020.
I will continue to record and upload weekly messages as I have been doing since March and am in the process of seeking ideas in which we can continue to “be the church” while not “being in church.” As soon as I have something, I’ll be sharing it with all of you. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions, please share them with me.
Meanwhile, take care of yourselves. Bishop Trimble includes some wonderful suggestions for doing so in his letter. Also, please let me know of any prayer concerns you have.
For the immediate future, I will continue to be at the church Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm. The door from the parking lot will be left unlocked during those times if you need access to the building but do not have a key. We have placed a basket on a table immediately inside the door where you can leave your pledge card, offering, prayer request, etc.
Love and hugs to you all as we continue to endure this long season of suffering. But, as Bishop Trimble reminds us, “Sunday’s coming!”
November 19, 2020