As Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended her Executive, Bishop David Bard advises local churches to continue to refrain from in-person activities, including worship.
On Monday, March 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an Executive Order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Today, based on recommendations from state health officials, the Governor has extended that order to May 15, 2020. The Executive Order continues to advise all faith communities to refrain from in-person worship and keep church buildings closed. For this reason, Bishop David Bard is also recommending Michigan United Methodist Churches continue to follow these recommendations until at least May 15, 2020.
Executive Order No. 2020-59, requires all Michigan residents and most businesses to stay in their homes, except for essential life-sustaining purposes. The order took effect at 11:00am Friday, March 24, and remains in effect until at least May 15, 2020.
While the new order recommends that we not hold in-person worship, The United Methodist Church of Michigan continues to be the church every day of this crisis. This Bishop continues to encourage local churches to hold online or telephone-based worship each week, to set up systems to receive electronic offerings that support much-needed mission and ministry, and to be in safe connection with those sheltered at home. Bishop Bard has announced he will address the Michigan Conference next week in a video message about this Executive Order and other measures being planned to safely re-open local churches.
Local churches needing support through this crisis are urged to visit the COVID-19 Resource Toolbox on the conference website or to contact their District Offices.