March 11, 2020
To our United Methodist Community in New England,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our world continues to be shaken by the spread of COVID-19 (commonly called coronavirus), the uncertainties surrounding it, and the disruption to our work and our lives.
My prayers go out to all those who are suffering from illness and dealing with its many ramifications and consequences. I call upon all clergy and lay leaders to join with me in prayer and in vigilance as we follow the advice of our public health advisors and civic authorities for making healthy decisions for ourselves and those in our care.
Our website will continue to provide the most up-to-date advice on how to prevent and respond to this pandemic. Everyone should heed all the advice available to stay home when sick, avoid contact with persons unnecessarily, and to practice safety guidelines when gathering in public spaces - including worship.
Clergy, if you are sick, please contact your District Superintendent and your SPRC so that they can assist in providing coverage. Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you are ill.
The geographic area of our conference is large, and it is impossible to apply one standard to everyone in all places. Please follow the advice/instruction of your state and local officials and health departments. If you are asked to suspend gathering, then do so.
I encourage you to keep in contact with your community’s leaders to learn how we, as the church, can be a helpful presence and best respond to needs.
As we learn more, we will provide further updates and advice. In the meantime, let us be in prayer for each other and for our world.
In Christ’s Love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar