Dear friends in Christ,
Grace and peace to you all in the name of Jesus Christ.
As we approach Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, we yearn for gathering in the ways we have been accustomed. This pandemic year has called us into new ways of connecting, celebrating, and comforting one another.
The number of people directly impacted by COVID-19 continues to rise in dangerous ways. We urge your continued attention to the well-advised guidelines established by Governor Cooper.
Indoor gatherings are now advised to be less than ten persons in order to protect spreading of the virus. Our churches are religious bodies and could claim legal exemption from the Governor’s guidelines. However, our love for our neighbors and our concern for their well-being leads us to urge restraint in gatherings.
The chilly weather today is a reminder that gathering outdoors will be more difficult in the months of winter. Virtual gatherings are a gift to us in this time, in order to do no harm.
We Methodists continue to embrace the mission of supporting public health, a part of the founding identity created by John Wesley and other of our forebears. We guard the health of our neighbor by doing simple but essential things: wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands with vigilance.
Resources abound on nccumc.org and conference staff and district superintendents are eager to support your ministry in any helpful way.
May Christ be with us all in these weeks of gratitude, hope, peace, joy, and love,
Hope Morgan Ward