Oct. 10 Pandemic Task Team Update
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2020
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Globally, we have all shared this experience of waiting daily for the coronavirus pandemic to be over. Nationally, we continue to face fires, hurricanes and civil unrest. Right here at home in Mississippi, the governor has allowed the state-wide mask mandate to expire. We are all facing catastrophe fatigue, but we urge you not to let your guard down against our common enemy—COVID-19. We have surpassed a devastating milestone of 212,000 American deaths due to the coronavirus in just six months, and the flu and cold season is quickly approaching. We want to remind you to continue to fight the good fight and finish the race. We urge you to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to wear masks, social distance yourselves from people by at least six feet and sanitize your hands frequently. Equally as important as the weather changes, encourage your congregation to get a flu shot—whether they are worshiping in person or not. Getting a flu shot could help mitigate facing both the impact of the flu and the coronavirus, as both can be fatal.
We know that several congregations across the conference have decided not to resume in-person worship yet, and we honor that decision. We as the body of Christ, are diverse and face many different factors in making decisions about our health and the health of those we care for. We have seen the fruit of your digital discipleship and no and low tech ways of engaging, and how you have reconnected with the sick and shut in, as well as how you have created new connections with new people.
We would also like to remind the churches that have returned to in-person worship to remember congregational care for parishioners of your church who are not ready to physically rejoin services and activities. Some people may feel guilty and think they have abandoned their church, or have fear of missing out on what’s happening at their faith communities. We encourage you to explore ways to reach out and show love to those in your congregation who choose to practice an abundance of caution and social distancing.
Many churches have asked questions about fall activities like truck-or-treat, fall festivals and other fall events. If your congregation decides to host fall activities, follow the conference recommendations and CDC guidelines concerning food. Whatever your decision and planning, we remind you to include wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent handwashing. Click here
(toner-friendly version here
) to view recommendations for faith communities hosting fall activities.
Finally, for those who have asked about serving food and congregational singing, remember that we still do not
encourage communal meals
as these activities can increase the spread of the coronavirus. Continue to refer to conference recommendations
by the pandemic task team, as well as Mississippi Health Department
and CDC guidelines
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
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