FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2021
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are hopeful and exceedingly glad about the decrease in COVID cases statewide. We want to take this time to celebrate all the faith communities that have made huge sacrifices to fight the coronavirus and protect their congregations and surrounding neighbors. Some churches’ leadership committed countless hours of energy, research, planning and prayer, along with funding for personal protective equipment to make sure that the in-person worship experience was as low a risk as possible. Other churches’ leadership decided not to have in-person worship at this time. Your efforts are not going unnoticed. We commend your high regard for the safety and worth of those in your parish. We look forward to you sharing your successes and moments of transformation and spiritual growth through this season as we look back at the blessings in the storm.
That being said, the storm is far from over. Now is not the time to relax safety and social distancing practices. Yes, numbers have gone down from the recent holiday spikes but as we witnessed last spring and summer, getting comfortable with lower numbers and relaxing restrictions contributed to another spike. So, as we move forward be sure to pay close attention to what’s going on in your context and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
We realize that many of you have formed teams to analyze your local medical data and your congregation’s context and may have decided to hold some form of in-person worship. If your congregation has decided to worship in-person, we strongly urge you to consider including the following guidelines in your safety protocols:
For a more detailed list of the suggested guidelines for in-person worship click here.
Click here to view state drive-thru sites’ vaccine availability. The state department now has a dedicated line for those who are elderly and without the digital devices and/or technological knowhow to register online. Call 877.978.6453 and listen for the prompts.
Praying that your soul prospers as your health prospers,
The Mississippi Conference Pandemic Task Team
Dr. Marcus Gaut Dr. Bob Ford
Dr. Steve Shirley Dr. Thais Walden
Mrs. Lynette Harris Mrs. Sarah King
Rev. Haywood Hannah Rev. Trey Skaggs
Rev. Dr. Joe Ranager Mrs. Jamie Beatty
Mr. Cameron Cloud
Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. Rev. Vickie White
Rev. Dayna Goff Rev. Fred Britton
Miss Jasmine Haynes Mr. Mike Howington