Bishop Oliveto Recommends Suspending In-Person
Worship, Gatherings Through May 1
March 26, 2020
To the People Called United Methodist of the Mountain Sky Conference,
Grace to you and peace from God, our life-giver, Christ, our life-savior, and the Spirit, our life-connector.
First, I want to thank you all for the remarkable ways you have responded to ministry needs in the face of COVID-19. We are discovering together new ways to worship, new ways to do pastoral care, and new ways to respond to the needs of our communities. In spite of so much of ministry taking place virtually, we have remained deeply connected to one another and God, the Source of our Life.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise across our conference. While Colorado Gov. Polis has issued a “shelter-in-place” order for everyone in the state, most of us throughout our conference are voluntarily doing that as a way to slow down the rates of infection in our regions so as not to tax our health care systems.
At this time, given the trajectory of the coronavirus in our region, I request the closure of our churches and the suspension of all in-person worship and other church activities until at least May 1. We need to do everything in our power to slow/stop the rate of transmission. I again urge you to stay connected to your regional public health departments for the latest updates on COVID-19 cases in your area.
These are not easy days as we worry about our loved ones, the livelihoods of so many, as well as our own health. We miss seeing neighbors and family. The Psalmist reminds us, “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” May you find comfort in the knowledge that God is with us in this moment. God will continue to be our Rock and Comforter even when our daily lives have been so radically disrupted. And God will guide us through this time and help us emerge a new people.
I give thanks for the resiliency, creativity, and love that are being expressed throughout our churches. May God continue to bless you and your ministries.
Bishop Karen P. Oliveto
Find updates and resources on the Mountain Sky COVID-19 page