Greetings friends, and Peace in the name or our Lord Jesus Christ.
We of the Appointive Cabinet and the Crisis Response Team continue to hold you, the laity and clergy, of the Iowa Conference in our hearts and prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you undoubtably know there has been an uptake in the number of cases here, in Iowa, and around the nation. Many of you have expressed concern for your churches and for the safety of members as some of our congregations begin to gather again for worship, study, service, and fellowship.
We wish to remind you that we remain in the Yellow Light Status
Information and recommendations on re-entry can be found at: https://www.iaumc.org/123churchreentry
While the largest number of new cases are reported among younger adults who are at a lower risk of life-threatening complications and death, they can spread the infection to older adult and those with underlying medical conditions. We all want our churches to be places of safety and “watching over one another in love” is at the heart of our Christian responsibility and tradition. Please take time to review the safe practices that have been passed on from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others as we guard one another’s health and safety.
While Intinction (dipping the bread in the cup) is one of the meaningful ways the celebrate Holy Communion, it is not the only way and is not to be used during the pandemic. Singing and liturgical responses in the gathered space of the sanctuary greatly multiplies the risk of transmission. Wearing a mask greatly decreases the likelihood of us transmitting the virus to others. These are strong recommendations you have received from us, and they are worth repeating. We all want our churches to be places of love and compassion. These values must be demonstrated by our actions. We all want to move beyond the virus but wishing it will not make it so. The current surges amid reopening’s across the United States bear witness to this.
Please accept our encouragement in the spirit of love. In the second chapter of James letter we are reminded “What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs? In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.” James 216b-17 CEB.
Let us be faithful in our care of each other as an important part of our worship of God.