Friends in the Indiana Conference,
The executive order of Governor Eric J. Holcomb to stay home goes into effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. I strongly encourage all United Methodists to read the directive and abide by it.
A public health emergency has been declared as a result of the global pandemic and the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Indiana. In response to this health crisis, social distancing and the prohibition of normal Sunday worship gatherings and other group gatherings has been implemented.
Holcomb’s order does allow churches and charitable organizations to continue essential business that would allow us to extend ministry to those in need. And, if they adhere to CDC guidance on social gatherings (p.6 Executive Order 20-08; Section 14.e), it provides opportunity for church leaders to produce live (or recorded) worship broadcasts from the church. Our General Rules will help us at this time: “Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.”
Day cares, feeding programs, support services are still permitted. As many who can work from home should; however, essential services for caring for people are still allowed. Essential banking services, funeral services, public transportation, and mail delivery continues.
It has been said “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so we need to practice the best ways to care for people without putting more people at risk. Love God and love neighbor and fear not for God will see us through.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble