Hello Emory Family:
Blessings to you! I love you and am praying for you as you and your families navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. My family and I are navigating through it as well. We are a congregation that trusts God, knows God's power intimately from miracles still fresh in our own minds, and believes that God will make a way for us through this pandemic.
Like you, I have been listening to the national and local conversation about the best ways to combat the coronavirus and the overwhelming consensus is that all of us must make immediate sacrifices to curtail COVID-19. The Surgeon General and experts at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, have determined that one of the most impactful sacrifices we can make is to temporarily suspend group gatherings of 50 or more persons. They have determined that this one sacrifice will slow the spread of coronavirus long enough to give our public health institutions time to ramp up their capacity to deliver extensive testing and treatment to affected communities.
As we move through the active and fluid realities that the pandemic is presenting us, we are called to sacrifice just as others are called to sacrifice as well. Therefore, I need us to attend to the following:
* I need us to commit to praying together and staying connected with one another as we move forward. Where we have tangible needs, we need to connect with each other to make sure everyone's needs are met. As we have larger congregational needs, I will communicate those to you.
* Our weekly Sunday morning worship services will be online through Facebook Live and other social media platforms. Per the CDC recommendations, we will NOT gather for worship in the sanctuary until further notice.
* We will conduct our Bible studies and other ministry opportunities through virtual technology -- through online channels and phone channels. Our executive director, Troy Watson, has conference call numbers and other mechanisms for communication should you need them. Her email is email@example.com. You may have great resources that you can share, and we encourage you to do so. More information will be forthcoming.
* Use of the building for ministry purposes will be temporarily suspended.
* The church office WILL continue to be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday each week. The Emory Beacon of Light, Inc., our church's nonprofit mission arm, will also be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week. Please bring nonperishable food offerings to the church to support our seniors and our food pantry which is in great need.
* I need each ministry lead to organize your ministry teams to have a weekly call for a time of prayer.
* Please look out for consistent updates as we move forward.
* Lastly, we sincerely ask that you keep in mind and heart the ongoing ministry expenses of the church, and that you continue to give faithfully and sacrificially to The Emory Fellowship. You can do so through the SecureGive App (Emory United Methodist Church), through Cash App ($EmoryFellowship) or by mailing your gifts via check to the church office.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and commitment to The Emory Fellowship! In the past, when we've gone through tough times, we've found God making a way as we've been persistent, patient and prayerful. May we be participatory as well, as we overcome this current challenge in Jesus' name. Special thanks to our wonderful staff and to our church council chair, Crystal McDonald, our lay leaders, Marc Loud and Reggie Williamson, and our executive director, Troy Watson, for their leadership in guiding us in this moment.
Remember, these are times for faith, not fear. Wisdom, not panic. Calm, not calamity. In all things, God has us. And God has this!
Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr., Lead Pastor