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Bishop Message: Stay at home

Posted: March 23 2020 at 12:56 PM

Dear Northern Illinois Conference,

Last Friday Governor Pritzker ordered us to “stay at home,” or as it’s more commonly called, "shelter in place." Sheltering in place is for our own health and safety as well as for the health and safety of others. But remember we have another shelter: the shelter that comes from God. 

I’ve always loved these verses from Psalm 91:1-2 (and you may be familiar with them from the song “On Eagle’s Wings”):

 You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”

Let us trust in the shelter of the Most High, in God who will carry us through this time. 

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La Luz de Cristo in Elgin was one of many NIC churches which used Facebook Live to deliver worship on Sunday, March 22, 2020 during the state's shelter in place order.

Yesterday I was so proud and pleased with how many of our clergy and laity worked to provide some form of worship for our faith communities. Some of you live-streamed; others sent out hard copies of your sermon and worship; some had the means to send a phone call to everyone; and yet others posted pre-recorded messages. I have no doubt that many in our congregations (as well as others who “tuned in”) were blessed by these forms of "virtual worship."

Thank you! And may God continue to bless you through your creativity and inspiration!

Please know that you all are in my prayers—for safety and health. I am also praying that we will truly be the church through this time. 

Please watch my video message by clicking below in which I address some questions being asked about worship and online communion (which I'm not recommending), General and Annual Conference, financial concerns, appointments, and what staying at home means for all of us. Click here to read the text of my message.

Resources

If you haven't already, join our NIC Facebook resource group for pastors and church leaders to share ideas and resources about how to be the "virtual church" during these challenging times. Visit the NIC Facebook page and click on "visit group" to request to join.

Training

Also, join us for a training via Zoom about online giving, ACH electronic payments/transfers, and apportionment billing this Thursday, March 26 at 10 am with Lonnie Chafin, NIC Treasurer and Dir. of Administrative Services. Click here for details on how to join the call either on your computer or phone. Look for more relevant trainings from NIC in the coming weeks.

For more resources, visit umcnic.org/coronavirusresources. We are updating this webpage frequently during this quickly evolving situation. Also, read this updated FAQ document from Dwayne Jackson, NIC's Director of Risk Management & Ministry Protection.

You’re in my prayers! Be smart! Be safe! And stay at home!

~Bishop Sally Dyck

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