Bishops' Statement on the COVID-19
Friends in Christ,

As your bishops, we care deeply for the well-being of all our people and for the communities we serve. As Christians, we are called always to love one another as God loves us, caring for the most vulnerable among us. There are many unknowns about this public health crisis, but this much is clear -- social distancing is an essential part of our collective response. 

Many of you may have already seen Governor Whitmer’s new advisory this morning urging people to avoid large gatherings to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. In light of this recommendation, and in awareness that many in our congregations are amongst the most vulnerable population, we encourage congregations to refrain from coming together for in-person worship for the remainder of the month of March. 

As People of God, it is our moral, civic, and spiritual obligation to care for one another by taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of this virus and continue to serve our communities with generosity, hope, and joy. 

For more specific recommendations, please see Bishop Perry's letter.

O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

In God’s Love, 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan

The Rev. Dr. Donald P. Kreiss
Bishop, SE Michigan Synod ELCA

The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr. 
Bishop, The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan

The Rev. Dr. Craig A. Satterlee
Bishop, NW Lower Michigan Synod ELCA
From Bishop Perry

Dear Friends,

Though I invite you to refrain from in-person, public worship for the remainder of this month, I ask that you be even more connected with one another in this time of medical uncertainty. Let us connect by phone, online and in small groups. Let us check not just on those of us who are vulnerable, but on all of us – for now more than ever, we are in need of God’s love, which we so often feel from each other.

I hope that our church offices will remain open, and I know that our clergy and lay leaders will continue to care for parishioners and members of the community, those we know well and those neighbors whom we have yet to meet. I expect that much will be asked of us, and I know that with Christ we have much to give.

Please use your wisdom, common sense and accepted medical protocols when you do gather with people.

I ask your prayers and know that you are in mine.

Look to our Diocesan web-page for updates and creative, virtual, liturgical worship and ministry resources. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.

All my best,

The Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry

PS. I will be offering a sermon this Sunday morning that will be available on YouTube and may be used as part of your Sunday morning worship or viewed at another convenient time.