Dear Friends,

I do not want to inundate you with communication when I know we are all being bombarded with information related to the unfolding pandemic.

BUT, I want you to know that I thank God for you.

This is an unprecedented and trying time when I trust we are all doing as best we can. I’ve been watching communications going out from many of you and from the ministries you oversee. I’ve visited with more people these last days and hours than I could have imagined.

There is a strangeness to a Sunday in Lent when many communities of faith will not gather for worship, while others will find themselves coming together with far fewer worshipers than is the norm. Take heart in the encouragement shared by a colleague bishop and friend, who writes: "There is no shame in erring on the side of caution. It is not necessary to make all decisions right now. And feel free to make decisions incrementally.”

Thank you for the ways you continue to care for the people of God. Please care for yourselves as well. The need for proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus in this time demands that we bring our best selves to the task. Social distancing should not lead to social isolation. Stay in touch with one another and don’t be afraid to ask each other for help. We will get through this. We really are #inthisTogether.

“And be of good courage, for God has called you.”

Bishop Michael L. Burk