Episcopal Voices in Times of Crisis
By Derek Weber
We began this post with reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheltering in place has brought forth both anxiety and innovation. The church was not prepared to suspend public worship for an extended period of time. But amazing things have been happening; amazing stories were and are being shared, and surprising connections have been made. Various posts, podcasts, and articles on our site bring attention to these responses and to suggestions for more ideas.
But the virus was not our only crisis. We have also been navigating the pandemic of systemic racism in our church and in our society. We have made various attempts to respond and to help churches and communities respond to this crisis. We have also attempted to lift up those who are at work in this crucial arena with sermons and prayers designed to help us find ways to respond.
Now we have a democratic crisis. The events of January 6, 2021, the Feast of the Epiphany, are still reverberating through our government and our communities and our churches. We hardly know how to respond. Our General Secretary, the Rev. Junius Dotson, has shared his thoughts on how we as the church might respond in “Repairing the Breach.”
In such a time, we look for guidance to help us navigate these uncharted waters. Our episcopal leaders have been stepping into the breach with a variety of statements for the churches in their care. We thought it would be good to bring some of these statements together in an accessible place on our site. We began with the statements about being the church in the COVID pandemic, but we now include a variety of other statements that help us be the church together in an increasingly difficult time.
Here are the statements that we have gathered. As more are made and received, we will be updating this post. Let us listen to our bishops as they lead in a difficult time.
- Great Plains Annual Conference – DOWNLOAD full statement (PDF)
- Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church – DOWNLOAD full statement (PDF)
- United Methodists of Greater New Jersey – DOWNLOAD full statement (PDF)
- Nashville Episcopal Area – Click to read full statement
- Florida Conference – Click to read full statement
- North Georgia Conference - Click to read full statement
- Bishop Mike Lowry - Click here to read blog post
- Daily prayer from the New England Conference for April 27, 2020 - Click here to read more
- A Message from Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar: Virtual Communion - Click to read full statement
- Minnesota Annual Conference: Bishop's statement on the death of George Floyd - Click to read full statement
- An Anti-Racism Commitment from the Extended Cabinet of the East Ohio Conference - Click to read full statement
- Statement from Bishop Cynthia Fiero Harvey about Justice for Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd and the protests across the country - DOWNLOAD Full Statement (PDF)
- Bishop Sally Dyck provides an explanation of "white privilege" - Click here to watch
- A prayer from Bishop Earnest Lyght for teachers and students during the pandemic - Click here to read
- Litany for the Healing and Hope for the People of the United States - Click here to read
- Bishop calls Christians to action after Capitol riot - Click here to read
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.