July 9, 2020
I trust that you are staying safe during this pandemic. This trying time has caused each of us to adopt a new outlook about our safety.
On behalf of the Board of Lay Ministry, we continue to be in prayer for our pastors, district leadership, and laity of the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Together we are experiencing an unbelievable journey. We have faced tragedies stemming from the chronic issue of racism while coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. But we are also praying people who value what it means to be a chosen people that are called to go even during these extraordinary times.
As the Conference Lay Leader, along with the Board of Lay Ministry, together, we can make a difference. I solicit your prayers and encourage your support of the Church, Bishop, pastors, district leadership, and all those who carry a tremendous burden trying to ensure the safety and health of our congregations. Everyone is working diligently, directing us through uncharted waters.
You can be a sounding board as we partner with each other and voice our support with the laity of your church not to push for the return to in-person worship and other church activities too soon. Returning too quickly can cause harm to them and the leadership.
I understand that you are actively engaged in your local church, district, and the Annual Conference, and I also know that you miss being in worship together. I miss it too.
But you are doing an awesome job with virtual and on-line worship services, and it is appreciated. I encourage you to continue offering worship in such creative ways and stay in touch with members, pastors, and leaders with a note or email of appreciation. I am sure they will appreciate it tremendously.
Please listen to the scientific evidence and follow the CDC guidelines as the data-driven force. Lastly, keep giving as you can. Your tithes and offerings are no less important now than they were before COVID-19.
Your prayers and personal spiritual disciplines are important; they are a reflection of God’s love and grace. They are also a reminder from Micah 6:8 that asked the question: What does the Lord require of us?
“He has told you, human one, what is good, and what is required from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.”
May God’s riches and blessings be upon you!
--Paulette Monroe, Conference Lay Leader
Dist: All clergy, the Board of Lay Ministry, local church and district lay leaders.