*** UPDATED INFORMATION***

March 17, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

In order to support your courageous ministry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, your Conference staff has been working diligently and offers the following:

New resources as of March 17 about COVID-19 and doing worship online:

Additionally, the following letter was sent yesterday to the appointed clergy of the Desert Southwest Conference. I’d like to share it with all of you because it contains important information that I am hoping will be received and implemented in all of our ministry settings. Please read it prayerfully, and share it widely.

Blessings,

Bishop Bob

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Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ!

The Desert Southwest Conference office is closely tracking and following the recommendations from the CDC and state officials. In consultation with the Extended Cabinet, I strongly recommend Desert Southwest Conference churches suspend all in-person gatherings through April 6, 2020.

Today, March 16, 2020, Arizona Governor Ducey’s report included avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people and avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store and restaurants. Hospitals and care centers have also instituted a “no-visitors” protocol. The final decision to suspend specific ministries and small groups lies within each local church, but I urge you to heed the CDC’s and local government’s requests to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Although church operated schools and childcare centers are not part of a local school district, I recommend that the local church or preschool/childcare board follow the local school district state’s guidelines for public schools and close your church’s school or childcare if your school district has announced closures.

Your Extended Cabinet is monitoring the news and will continue to update you. Tomorrow, March 17, 2020, we will share additional resources, plans for zoom town halls, step-by-step training for live streaming, and other recommendations to support you as we respond to the COVID-19 situation. Please continue to check the DSC website for an updated response https://dscumc.org/disaster-response-resources/.

Please continue to be in prayer for all who suffer from the Coronavirus, for the medical community, and for God’s guidance as we navigate through these changes. As followers of Jesus, let’s keep reflecting on our many blessings and our call to be in ministry in Christ’s name.

Blessings,

Bishop Bob

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