Dear Holston Friends,
As we move through this pandemic together, I want to say thank you for continuing to be in ministry through creative worship, Bible studies, reading books to children online, children’s programming, online devotions, and caring for those in your congregations and community. It has been wonderful to watch so many great things happening throughout Holston Conference. You never cease to amaze me.
While the COVID-19 curve is beginning to flatten there is still a serious threat, especially for those who are most vulnerable among us. As the world begins to open up we need to remember that restrictions are still in place – social distancing six-feet apart, wear a mask when you are out in the community, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face. And yes, stay at home as much as you can. These are not only ways we care for ourselves but how we care for one another.
Our founder John Wesley urged us to “do good, do no harm, and to stay in love with God.” As you know, our church buildings continue to be closed. On Friday, in the cabinet meeting, we shared serious, hard conversations on what it will look like when we begin to worship together again in person. There is much to consider to put a good plan in place that will do no harm. We cannot go back to worship as we remember it. This coming week I will be meeting with a task force made up of members of the medical field, pastors from across the conference, and some members of the cabinet to put steps into place so we can gather together as safely as possible without not putting one another at risk. We hope to provide a plan by Monday, June 1, 2020.
We understand these are difficult times. Thank you for the work you are doing to keep the church together during this time of separation. Your ministry is allowing the church to be a bright beacon of light to guide God’s people through this challenging time.
Please know your Cabinet and I are praying for the pastors and congregations across our beloved Holston. We trust that you are praying for us as well.
God’s grace, mercy and peace are always more than sufficient,
Bishop Dindy Taylor
The United Methodist Church