Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
Grace to you and peace in the name and spirit of Jesus!
Having prayerfully considered the statistics that show that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the states of Nevada and Arizona continue to rise there are no changes to the instructions given last week. The churches of the Desert Southwest Conference will continue the suspension of in-person worship and gatherings. We must continue to engage in ministry in faith to care for our people, especially the most vulnerable among us, doing our best to protect their safety and health.
I know that this presents some challenges to laity and clergy. But I have also been hearing about ways you are engaging in new forms of ministry, new means of worship and engaging in outreach, and of stewardship. Keep up this creative, adaptive work as you find ways to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from silencing the Good News or binding the hands and feet of Jesus.
I want to remind you that our Desert Southwest Conference is offering COVID-19 loans/grants to assist churches with some of the financial challenges brought about by the pandemic. Terms for receiving these loans/grants have been revised from what was initially published earlier this month. For more details about these loans/grants click here.
Today the Governor of Arizona held a press conference where he reaffirmed that his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order remains in place with a few exceptions; none of them lifting the suspension of in-person worship and gatherings in churches. We pray for and anticipate the day when all restrictions will be lifted. This has not happened yet but when it does, it will happen in stages and phases. I continue to monitor the situation and will inform you when the time has come to begin to converse with your DS as you prepare to open your churches. I will update you next Wednesday with any additional information.
Please prepare yourself when the time is right to move into these stages of re-opening. A resource has been developed to assist you in thinking through many of the steps and nuances that will come when it is time to re-open our churches and ministries.
Stay safe and keep healthy in body, mind, and spirit. I pray for you at all times as I give thanks for you!