Hebrews 12:1b is a favorite Scripture passage for many sports-lovers. Though written for a different situation and place, the words are an encouragement when applied to our North Alabama Conference’s response to COVID-19. “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . . .”
What a year we have experienced! When a year ago this week (March 16, 2020) the North Alabama Conference Leadership Team and I made the request that congregations suspend in-person worship services to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we had no idea that this pandemic would result in the death of more than 500,000 persons in the U.S. and more than 2.6 million across the world. The losses have been profound with 1 in every 3 Americans grieving over someone they know who has died of COVID-19. Nor did we anticipate that we would still be dealing with the pandemic in Lent 2021.
We are grateful that the majority of our congregations honored our initial request as well as the Do No Harm Recommendations that followed. Together we have learned much about how to be the church during a pandemic.
Now we see a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel. Though 1,500 Americans are still dying of COVID-19 every day, cases are finally falling. It is estimated that within the next few months every U.S. adult will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.
It appears that our nation has turned the corner with the pandemic. However, we are not yet to the finish line. The COVID-19 subteam makes the following requests as we finish the race.
Here is some good news.
Though we still have a distance to run, the finish line is in sight. Let us not grow weary in the race we are running in mitigating COVID-19 in our churches and communities.
Thank you for all that you have done, are doing and will continue to do as individuals and churches during this pandemic.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference
Current CDC guidance
How is the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Going In Your State?