Dear NT-NL Leaders:
As our governmental officials contemplate how and when we should gather in larger groups again, it is important we are thinking critically and carefully about how this is carried out in our communities. I am grateful for my colleagues Bishop Sue Briner and Bishop Mike Rinehart who have joined me in this effort to provide, at this moment, consistent guidelines and worship resources based on our current context. A joint letter from us in English and Spanish is available here with links to these resources on our website. In case these links are not clickable for you from the PDF letter:
White House Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
Coming Back Together as a Congregation Guidelines
Coming Back Together for Worship Resources
Guías para el Retorno de la Congregación
Recursos para Volver a estar Juntos a los Servicios de Adoración
These guidelines are based on the gateways and phases released by the federal government on April 16. Obviously, different states, counties, and municipalities are moving forward at different paces. Additionally, it is highly likely advice and rulings from our governmental officials will change on a weekly, and potentially even daily, basis.
For us as church, the overriding concern is to proclaim the gospel fully by protecting the most vulnerable in our midst, serving others in Christ’s name, responding to current conditions in our contexts. With a territory as widespread and diverse as the NT-NL, blanket advice based on dates to allow gatherings again would be unhelpful. Instead, I encourage our leaders to utilize these resources and those that will come in conversation with their communities and my office. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns, and please update me when you do choose to begin in-person programming.
Thank you for your work and commitment. God’s peace to you, and know we are grateful for your consistent, adaptive, and faithful work.
In Mission Together,
Bishop Erik Gronberg