Given the exponential rise of COVID cases in Michigan, Bishop David Bard urges local churches to refrain from in-person gatherings these next six weeks. “The good news of great joy still arrives,” he said.
On June 1 Governor Whitmer and Bishop Bard lifted restrictions on in-person worship. But that doesn’t mean return to worship as usual in churches across the state. Be ready for changes.
United Methodist bishops in the U.S., including Bishop David Bard of Michigan, are setting guidelines for appropriate ways for reopening churches in their conferences.
Social distancing measures forced churches to transition to online worship and ministry. As states lift shelter-in-place orders, churches must consider how — or when— to return to in-person worship.
Michigan’s United Methodists have been in worship from home since March 15. These five pastors report how technology has enabled the spread of the gospel to members and to neighbors.
When state health officials deem it safe, restrictions on in-person worship will be lifted. In the meantime, here are guidelines to help prepare for re-opening.
“We have and are giving up a lot,” says Bishop David Bard to the United Methodists in Michigan. He encourages churches to plan now to be ready to return to in-person activities.
As Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended her Executive, Bishop David Bard advises local churches to continue to refrain from in-person activities, including worship.
Michigan now has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. At advice of government and public health officials, Bishop Bard calls for no in-person gatherings through April 30, 2020.
On Friday, March 13, Bishop David Bard asked all Michigan churches in his care to be closed to in-person events. On Sunday, less than 48 hours later, congregations came together online.