Dear Pastors,

Some of your churches are preparing to re-open your doors this weekend. Others of you may be waiting a while, which is to be expected. Whenever your congregation plans to return to your sanctuary, I invite you to intentionally take time to pray beforehand.

In the midst of cleaning products, masks, and social distancing logistics, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of COVID-19. Let us not forget to invite the Holy Spirit into our midst. Let us not forget to pray for our congregants and their protection. Let us not forget to seek the face of God and ask for God’s blessing on the time together.

This past Sunday, I hosted a Zoom prayer gathering during which Hoosier United Methodists from all over the state joined together to petition our Gracious God in heaven. The gathering of lay and clergy witnessed a powerful movement of God, and we must continue.

The Conference is planning to host additional gatherings of prayer, but don’t wait for us! Plan your own prayer gatherings in your church or in your district. The world needs prayer, and your prayers are powerful and effective.

As you continue to refine the details of your church’s re-entry—whenever that may be—know that the Conference Superintendents and I are praying for you, for the end of this global pandemic, and for a revival in this land.

I echo Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.”

Jesus has called you, friends. Jesus has called you to ministry. And Jesus has called you to be people of hope.

Be encouraged,

Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Resident Bishop
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church