Greetings my Brothers and Sisters,
As you are aware, we are amid a pandemic that has caused a season of caution and concern. On Thursday, the President of the United States declared a national emergency as a result of the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19.
The impact of this virus has already globally shifted our way of being. Many people are scared, confused, and are uncertain about the future. I can imagine that the unknown that awaits many of us, particularly children and students on college campuses, has ignited several questions and emotions.
I have been in prayer and constant meditation concerning the lives of the members of the Seventh Episcopal District and people all over. Specifically, our elders, young people, and people living with diabetes are among the most vulnerable during this season. I am asking that we demonstrate what Scripture teaches us, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)” Please take extra efforts to care for our seniors who are 65 and older in our congregations. I am asking that we utilize the class leader system, social media, text messaging, and pastoral home visits (when safe) to make sure that we are all safe.
Let’s be the church that Bishop Richard Allen envisioned.
Over the next few days, I will continue to be in communication with the Presiding Elders on the next steps concerning any shifts to how our local churches will gather publicly. At this time, I encourage all pastors and church officers to use their discernment on holding public worship services or not. If you do hold services, please ensure that facilities have proper resources (sanitizer, cleanser, disinfectants, and practices) to protect the health and safety of worshippers. If you are sick, please stay at home and contact your physician immediately.
Our office is working diligently to stay aware of any updates as it pertains to restrictions and advisories. The Rev. Dr. Jacques Days serves as our Episcopal Medical Director and is working on updating us on information so that we remain healthy. Governor McMaster has provided a free service by which South Carolinians, without ready access to a primary care physician, may consult a doctor for advice online at MUSC.care. Also, additional information is provided at SCDHEC.gov, CDC.gov, and AME7.church
My faith remains strong that God’s steadfastness will bring us through. I believe that the same God who redeemed, delivered, and healed before will continue to do so for us today. Stay encouraged in the One who is still in control and has provided a way for us to be whole. Follow the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy.