Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
This afternoon, words spoken from the White House mandated that churches open this weekend for worship. Houses of worship were deemed “essential,” and governors of the states were told to allow churches and places of worship to open this weekend.
I contend that our churches have always been open. Our buildings may be closed but the laity and the clergy of the Desert Southwest Conference have worked diligently to ensure that ministry in the name of Jesus Christ continues. Worship in new ways has blossomed; lives are being touched, and our mandate to spread the good news has never been more crucial. The Church is alive!
The day will come when we will be safe to resume in-person worship and gatherings. We hope and pray for that day to come. But we are not yet ready to open our churches. This week, you received information outlining the steps we need to take to get ready for resuming on-site ministry. I ask you to begin the work of preparation so that when it is clear that we are safe to return to our churches, we will have done the necessary preparations to do so safely. You can revisit the latest update that contains the resource that you will need.
In the meantime, I affirm what we already know in our hearts and have experienced in these days of separation from one another. The church is the body of Christ! And “in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:13). Sometimes, the different parts of the body may not be able to connect in person. That is the case of the body of Christ today. But let us remember that even if we are not presently able to be physically connected with one another, the Spirit of God connects us spiritually with one another in the name of Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer.
With patient trust in God, who is always with us, let us hold one another and our communities in prayer as we continue to be the body of Christ united in hope!