A letter published online from the bishop and cabinet of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church asks congregations to hold off until June 22 before resuming in-person services.
“We, your bishop and cabinet, greatly appreciate how you have followed the guidance we have shared regarding in-person worship,” the letter signed by Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the North Georgia Conference Cabinet stated.
“We know how much you miss each other and long to be together. After talking with medical experts and reviewing data today, we are asking you not to gather before June 22.”
The letter states that date is when current statistical models predict that Georgia residents can begin safely relaxing shelter at home measures. At this time, they’re permitting drive-in worship as long as it complies with current social distancing guidelines.
“We encourage you to take this time to prepare to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 when we do gather again for in-person worship,” the letter states. “The cabinet will continue to meet weekly and will offer regular updates to our guidance.”
They encouraged churches to continue using technology to reach out to their community remotely.
“Even in this uncertain time, what we are certain of is that loving our neighbor is the way of United Methodists,” the letter stated. “We give thanks for you and the ways you are loving your neighbors.”