(Re) Launch Church: (Re)considering Church in a COVID-19 World
May 15, 2020
To the People Called United Methodist of the Mountain Sky Conference,
Jesus, before he was betrayed, directed Simon Peter to “feed my lambs, tend my sheep.” (John 21: 15-19). Here, Jesus entrusts his disciples to care for the ones Jesus loved: the lost, the least, the lonely.
Jesus asks the same of you and me. We are to care for the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of those whom Jesus loves.
This takes on a responsibility of epic proportions in these COVID-19 days we are living. How do we gather as the Body of Christ and keep one another safe from infection? What guidelines must we follow if we are to move from online ministry to in-person worship and small groups? How do we prepare our people so that the most vulnerable in our midst will be kept safe?
COVID-19 is far from over. While our physical distancing has helped flatten the curve, infections (and deaths) are still occurring. The most vulnerable population to COVID-19 (those over 65) are the majority in our congregations. As disciples of Jesus, we have a serious responsibility to organize and build up ministry in ways that are accessible to all, beginning with the most vulnerable.
Since March, the Mountain Sky Conference COVID-19 Crisis Team has been meeting to guide the MSC response, communications, and programming through the pandemic. Team members include:
||Gayla Jo Slauson
||Bishop Karen Oliveto
Before considering a return to in-person worship and meetings, all congregations are asked to create a team to work through this guidebook. You will find both concrete steps for safety and health, as well as critical questions to help you consider what ministry in the next phase of COVID-19 will look like.
I do not want one single case of COVID-19 traced to one of our churches because we did not care for those whom Jesus loves.
I hope you will find this guidebook helpful as you (re) Launch your ministries.
May God continue to bless you and your ministries,
Bishop Karen P. Oliveto
Download a PDF copy of this letter
Download the MSC (Re) Launch Church Study Guide
Bookmark the (Re) Launch Church resources page online