Family & friends of Morrison Chapel,

Last night, Bishop Taylor from the Holston Conference UMC urged congregations to cease public worship for a period of two weeks. This is aligned with what surrounding communities and states have recommended as well. With the risk of the novel coronavirus in our communities, social distancing is critically urgent. This would include keeping a 6ft separation between yourself and someone else and avoiding large gatherings of people whenever possible. This is an even more urgent concern for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

After prayerful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to follow Bishop Taylor’s wisdom & guidance.

For the next two weeks, we will move to online services only, utilizing Facebook, YouTube, and our website to continue sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. I will also create a manuscript of our Sunday messages that can be emailed or sent via regular mail to anyone who may not have access to the internet.

In the meantime, here are a few things for us to consider as we navigate through this difficult season: We serve a loving, merciful, and all-powerful God who can with but a single word stop this illness across the globe. Let us not cease to petition Him to do so. Let’s be diligent in staying in contact with our members and visitors as well as our family by phone, email, instant message, etc. Many people have stocked up on food supplies and medicines already, but it is likely that many others have not. To the extent that we can help, we should do so. We are the hands and feet of Christ until His glorious return.

Practice good hygiene by washing our hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds at a time. (Hint: sing the Doxology while scrubbing. The timing is perfect.) Refrain from shaking hands and fist bumps. We can all catch up on those when this virus has passed.

Be cautious, but not fearful. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind. Please keep our world, our community, and our families in constant prayer. Please also remember those who are homeless, those who are hungry, and those suffering from mental illness.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,

Pastor Jack