Good afternoon everyone,
Thursday afternoon, March 12 Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor of the Holston Annual Conference published a notice urging the churches of Holston Conference to suspend worship and large-group gatherings beginning today for two weeks, in response to the COVID-19 virus. We will follow the Bishop’s urging and suspend worship and all other program activities for at least the next two weeks. This includes Sunday School, youth and children meetings and activities, Bible Studies, and committee meetings.
The worship services for Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22 will be livestreamed on the church’s Facebook page. Please remember to continue to support our church family financially during this time by mailing your tithes and offerings to Gray UMC, PO Box 8068, Gray, TN 37615, dropping your gift off during office hours (the office will remain open 9 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday), or giving online through the church’s website (www.grayumc.org).
Pastoral visitation will be done through phone calls, with emergency visits only being made.
Also, please note that the March 21 birthday party for Louise Fox’s 100th birthday has been cancelled. The Elmcroft Assisted Living Facility where she lives, along with other similar senior living facilities, are not allowing patients to leave and no visitors are allowed into the facility. This is a precaution to protect the residents.
Plans for Feeding of the Homeless at the Melting Point have changed for Wed, March 18th. Anyone that was supposed to bring 18 eggs does not need to bring them.
Linda Hall and a smaller group will prepare the alternative meal (hot dogs and chips) and deliver it to Melting Pot.
Then, the Melting Pot staff will serve the homeless.
Please pass along this information to anyone who may not have received it, and please contact the church if you have questions about a particular event or any needs or concerns.
Thank you, and stay safe and healthy!
Clarification from Bishop Taylor
Dear Holston Friends,
Regarding my message yesterday, there seems to be confusion on what I tried to say in the announcement about cancelling worship services and church meetings due to the coronavirus. The decision was prayerfully made to cancel worship services across the three states that make up Holston Conference. To clarify yesterday’s announcement, the decision is unanimous and mandatory for at least two weeks. This decision was made to protect the lives of you and your family, your congregation, and your neighbors. Social distancing prevents the spread of this deadly virus. Because we don’t gather in the building does not mean that the body of Christ is not still active and doing God’s work.
This is an opportunity for creative ministry. How can we care for our neighbors? Be aware of the needs of the people around you and how you can offer Christ during a challenging pandemic.
May God’s grace, mercy, and peace sustain us throughout these days.
Grace and peace,
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