During this time of social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and coronavirus, United Methodist congregations are not meeting in person or on-site for worship, Sunday school, Bible study, small groups, or much else. Many churches are providing online options for their congregations, but not every church has the ability provide those opportunities.
To help members of their congregations continue in their spiritual growth, our United Methodist bishops are finding ways to reach out to the members of their conferences and beyond. Our Book of Discipline states that part of the work of a bishop is “giving spiritual leadership to both laity and clergy.”
Bishop L. Jonathan Holston of the South Carolina Conference is inviting people to join him in prayer each day through daily videos. In the videos, Bishop Holston leads viewers in prayer. You can find the prayers on South Carolina’s Vimeo page.
Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Conference, leads a wonderful prayer in multiple languages on YouTube. Any time you would like to pray for all of the people affected by the coronavirus, give thanks for those who serve, and ask God for strength in these difficult times, you can join him.
Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr. of the Mississippi Conference is using his Facebook account to share devotions. These brief videos contain a scripture, a devotional thought, and a prayer. They are a great way to keep up your devotional practice during unsettling times.
Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas Conference is leading worship from his home on Facebook Live Sundays at 11 a.m. CDT. Bishop Jones writes, "I encourage everyone to worship with their own congregation if it is offering online services. But anyone can join me in my living room for worship."
We are grateful for the leadership of our bishops during this difficult time.
This story was posted March 30, 2020, and will be updated as we learn more.