As businesses start to open and some things are starting to reach a form of new normal, it is natural for a question to arise: when will we be able to gather for in-person worship once again? We know increasing numbers of churches are gathering back together and may wonder when that will include us.
Bishop Mike McKee, presiding bishop of the North Texas Conference, emailed last week to let us know that the Metro and North Central district churches are asked to wait until at least July before we reopen for in-person worship. This is a hard reality but we know it is in the best interest of not just the church, but the public interest to not gather yet as we see multiple reports of churches of having closed again after reopening, resulting not only in the spread of the coronavirus with fatalities in their local church but in their communities as well. Therefore, as we seek to honor our Wesleyan commitment to love our neighbor and do no harm, we will remain closed for now. But our Reopening team is hard at work to make sure all proper precautions are taken when we gather again.
I know this is disappointing news but this coming Sunday provides hope for us. It is Pentecost. The day the Spirit, which descended upon Jesus, descended upon the Church. This Spirit connects us as one even when we are apart and assures us that we are children of God. Likewise, we remain empowered to share the good news of God’s love and the reign of God taking shape in this world with those around us, even if the methods change.
So take heart. Jesus, the ascended Lord, rules over us in love. We are not forgotten. And, though we do not gather at this time, we are still one.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen