A Message from Our Bishop, Scott J. Jones

 

October 29, 2020 

Dear people of the Texas Annual Conference, 

I want to thank you for your continued creativity in ministry in 2020 during these days of COVID-19. These are not easy times, and I am proud of how our pastors are leading our churches while maintaining the practices of social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing. Much of what we hear from our friends at the Methodist Hospital System is that spikes are likely to continue if we give into mask fatigue and relax our behavior, so keep up the great work. 

I pray for you as you pastor in new ways in an unprecedented season in your specific context, especially as we move into a holiday season with so many significant days for our congregations. Below, you will see some general guidelines for in-person worship gatherings. Many of you are already providing members and guests with online worship opportunities. I certainly want to encourage you to add or continue to improve your online presence even as we cautiously extend our use of in-person venues.  

As we move into Advent, I want to encourage you to think about keeping your church facility a safe home for our members and visitors.  

Below, you will see some guidelines and recommendations to help you and the church that you lead to keep the first of Wesley’s General Rules: Do no harm. Please read through these guidelines, consult your local government regarding safety protocols and visit with your leaders about establishing best practices for your congregation.  

Many churches are devoting a page on their website to COVID-19 guidelines. I have included a sample from each of our districts to encourage you to communicate these best practices with your church members and guests. 

With deep appreciation for all that you are doing for Christ, 

     Bishop Scott J. Jones

Safe Holiday Worship Guidelines PDF