Pastoral Directive from The Episcopal Bishops in Michigan
To slow the spread of the Covid 19 virus I have closed our Diocesan offices and am directing churches to be open only in a very limited capacity making use of the fewest staff people possible and encouraging remaining staff people to work from home. If at all possible please continue to pay all staff their regular weekly wages.
All of our upcoming Diocesan events have been moved to online formats, including:
- The Chrism Mass will be offered in an online format – more details will be forthcoming.
- All diocesan committee meetings and meetings with me have been moved to conference call or Zoom formats.
- Virtual worship services should be recorded and offered with the least number of people possible, a maximum of four, including the person filmingTo increase my connectivity with you in this time of physical distancing, please look for weekly announcements and for opportunities to be with each other and to hear from me such as:
The Lenten Book Study
Weekly clergy zoom and conference calls
Deanery calls for clergy and lay leaders
Weekly meditations and
My staff has curated a list of resources for worshiping online that we will continually update. For a list of EDOMI online and remote worship services, click here. To add your congregation’s offerings to this list, email email@example.com.
In this uncertain time, I recognize that our hunger relief ministries are more important than ever. Please implement curbside only pick-up and contact your County Health Department for the most up-to-date guidelines as to how these very important services can best be offered to our neighbors in need.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my staff. You can find my staff’s contact information here. I encourage you to view the Presiding Bishop’s recent statement on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
11th Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan
With heavy hearts and hope-filled spirits, we are compelled to offer a new Pastoral Directive in response to COVID-19. These new directives are in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition to continuing to forgo all public, in-person worship services, we direct you to cease all other Sunday, Saturday and weekday in-person gatherings, including weddings, funerals, memorial services, bible studies, prayer meetings, and non-emergency baptisms, and place all of the groups that gather at your congregation on hiatus for the CDC’s recommended eight weeks, or until May 10th, including both Holy Week and Easter. We encourage you to make arrangements to offer your education classes or other meetings by video or phone conference call as you are able. Food pantries and feeding programs should operate in a “curbside only” capacity.
As Bishops, we make these directives so that the Episcopal Church across Michigan may lead our state in caring for our communities by embodying pastorally sensitive physical distancing practices. The more physical distance we place between ourselves and our neighbors, the more we help to mitigate the spread and impact of this virus. At the same time, we are called to reach out to each other in love, so that while we are physically separated, we are spiritually and relationally connected. The Body of Christ is more than what happens inside of our buildings – it is a people living the Way of Love wherever we may be.
God of Life, you give us life and hope. Be with us in the chaos of this time. Calm our fears, be the light for our path, and strengthen our trust in your promise never to leave or forsake us. We pray through Christ, in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
A Prayer for Chaotic Times, Enriching Our Worship
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
Bishop, The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan
The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan