Dear Indiana United Methodist Leaders,

As you heard from Bishop Trimble last week, COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Indiana, and we continue to hear that hospitals across the state are struggling to keep up with the healthcare demands. As your Bishop who cares for you and the well-being of all of our families and communities, he asks you to stay the course with an abundance of caution.

We all know it has been difficult not meeting in gathered sanctuary worship. Even so, you are strongly encouraged to move forward for the foreseeable future using adaptive ways of connecting. Bishop Trimble has said it this way. “I believe it to be the better part of wisdom to continue to not meet in person at your churches. It may be months down the road, but there is light at the end of the tunnelGod is able even in dark times.”

Yet some have asked about other considerations. And for some serving ministries in vulnerable population settings such as food pantries and support groups (like A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope and others), the risks of meeting may require special discernment. So please understand that pastors and leaders in those situations will want to be in consultation with their Conference Superintendent to make wise and appropriate decisions for their ministry conditions.

These are, indeed, such challenging times to be in ministry. Thank you for your witness to the work of sharing the light of Christ in the best way you know how.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Larry K. Whitehead
Executive Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Connectional Ministries

“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”
-John 1:5

As a reminder, according to, clergy in Indiana who see patients in the healthcare setting are eligible for the COVID vaccine. To find a vaccination site near you, click here.