Bishop David Graves, in conjunction with Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference of the UMC, is recommending the cancellation of all in-person worship and church meetings through (and to include) May 17, 2020. The bishop, cabinet and leadership team will continue to assess when churches may gather again.
“It is in our best interest as a conference to make this recommendation based on the information we have,” stated Bishop Graves. “There are various opinions about when states should begin to reopen, yet it is important that we exercise caution when considering when to reopen church buildings and worship spaces. Because the safety and health of our congregations and communities are a top priority, we are making this recommendation. In addition to this, churches should establish a COVID-19 task force or leadership team to consider the many factors associated with reopening churches."
As previously announced, the 2020 session of the AWF Annual Conference is being postponed until a later date.
Clergy appointments will continue to follow the previously announced timeline and are still effective July 1, 2020. If moving restrictions or complications occur in a specific case, the district superintendent will advise the pastor and church based on the situation.
Should you have any questions on this new date, please contact your district superintendent. Up-to-date information may be found at www.awfumc.org.