There are several important clergy-related announcements pertaining to COVID-19.
1) First, Bishop Graves has stated that all in-person worship services and church meetings should not occur before April 15. He is closely monitoring what state and national officials recommend. In order to honor our social distancing, healthy-living commitments and to protect those at risk, we ask that all Alabama-West Florida churches comply with this request.
2) The weekly clergy Zoom gathering called, "How is it with your soul?" with Bishop Graves has a new time. It will now be on Mondays at 4:00pm CST. This adjusted time will enable families to better coordinate their evenings. Click here for updated Zoom link.
3) The AWF Conference has created an online short-term form for your local church members to utilize if your church does not have online giving established. The money will come to the conference fiscal office and 100% of the gift will be sent to the local church. The conference will absorb all fees related to the transaction. Click here to access form. You may promote this link in your communication pieces to your church members.
4) The AWF Youth Ministry Roundtable, coordinated by Rev. Jeremy Steele, will have an online forum to help process youth ministry in a time of social distancing and trade best practices. The group will spend time processing how we are approaching teaching lessons, offering pastoral support, doing relational ministry and safe sanctuaries in the virtual space. The event will be held April 2 from 12:30-2:30pm. Registration is free but required. Click here for registration (a Zoom link will be sent upon confirmation).
5) A comprehensive online AWF Easter worship service is in production. Many of you will find creative ways to minister to your congregations. However, if social distancing is preventing you from organizing a full service, this will be a wonderful resource to use in place of your regular service or as an additional service. The link will be sent to all clergy on Saturday afternoon, April 11, so that it is not improperly distributed and detract from the efforts of our local churches. The service will have an organized order of worship and will have participants from all eight districts, including a sermon from Bishop David Graves. If your local church will not be live streaming or producing an Easter morning worship service, you are welcome to post this video link on your social media pages or share it with your congregation via email anytime after 9:00am Easter morning. It will be released to the annual conference through email and social media at noon on Easter.
The COVID-19 resource page continues to be updated as needed and offers a host of links related to worship, communications, online giving, and preaching, to name a few.
We encourage you to reach out to the AWF conference staff should you need any assistance with navigating this new normal. Our prayers are with each of you and we acknowledge your outstanding effort to continue ministry in this uncertain time.