I am grateful for how United Methodist churches and leaders in the North Alabama Conference have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much ministry has been accomplished even as we have practiced Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
One of the North Alabama Conference’s guiding principles throughout the pandemic has been the first of Methodism’s three General Rules “Do No Harm.” Indeed, this is the title of the guidelines developed by North Alabama leadership for funerals, weddings, sacraments and reopening our church buildings during the pandemic.
As vaccinations have become readily available in the United States, it has been great to see the CDC recommendations become less restrictive for fully vaccinated persons. Note that a recent study indicates a vast majority of physicians are encouraging most persons eligible for vaccines to receive them.
Due to variants causing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent days, we encourage clergy and church leaders to revisit the Do No Harm guidelines. Please note that as of July 27, 59 counties in Alabama are at very high risk for COVID transmission and all but two counties in North Alabama are either very high or high risk. (Alabama Department of Public Health COVID- 19 dashboard). Also, remember that no one 12 years old or younger has had the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
Let us continue to pray and act on behalf of:
Again, thank you for your response to COVID-19 during the past year and a half. May each of us continue to be diligent in our efforts to “Do No Harm” as we deal with the pandemic at home and abroad. After all, “Do No Harm” is in the DNA of United Methodism.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference