Today was a busy day of zoom and conference calls relating to congregation and ministry discernment about next steps toward in-person gatherings. It started with a phone call with my Episcopal colleague in Tyler Bishop Fischer to discuss their thoughts and approaches in that part of our territory we share.
Late morning I met with pastors in the Dallas Area Metro North Conference via zoom. We discussed the current situation in their congregations and their plans and thoughts about engaging in worship. It was good to hear from them and their thoughtful engagement and gratifying to hear of their appreciation for the resources we have provided from Briarwood Leadership Center and NT-NL Synod, ELCA and particularly the guidance released April 22nd by the TX/LA bishops. www.ntnl.org/covid-19-gathering-guidelines-and-worship-res…/
Throughout the day I had several other conversations and emails with pastors and leaders about their plans. The thoughtfulness and seriousness with which they take these concerns is gratifying as well.
Tonight I met with our Conferencia Latina NT-NL ELCA to continue these conversations. Again the thoughtful engagement was impressive as were the conversations my spouse was having at the same time (you can see her through the door of our home office having council meeting with her congregational leaders).
Several of these congregations, whose members largely work in jobs where they cannot stay home, have been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. Percentage-wise they are bearing a much greater impact from this than the majority of our congregations. Their leaders are deeply thoughtful, prayerful, and also want to serve. Please keep them and all our leaders in prayer. We are assisting them with support, financial resources both from the synod and the ELCA Churchwide COVID-19 relief fund, and assistance in navigating governmental programs.
I will finish the night with our monthly board meeting for Lutheran Men In Mission. I am honored to serve as liason bishop to this ministry. Grateful also for a walk with my 12 year old this afternoon and our North Texas Karate Academy, LLC daily workout I can do with my kids.
For all the work being done to prioritize the vulnerable, finding ways to connect, and thinking critically and learning in this time I give thanks to God. #NTNL #BWTX #InMissionTogether