“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.

Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

Matthew  5:4 (MSG)

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The Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church will make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  So too, EMUMC endeavors to be a   vibrant congregation with fruitful leaders and faithful disciples transforming the world by doing no harm, doing good, and staying in love with God. 

4 W Seminary  St - Liberty, Indiana

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Edwards Memorial United Methodist Church

Friends,

We are at an unprecedented time in history. In just the past few weeks, we have witnessed a rapid increase of positive COVID-19 cases across the state, nation and world setting new daily and weekly records nearly every day. This news is alarming and requires all of us to make difficult but necessary decisions for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church.

“There is a tremendous risk with this virus. It spreads really, really easily. The next 8-12 weeks are critical. Anything the Church can do to reduce gatherings will be helpful to slow the spread. We must take this very seriously,” said Kristen Kelley, Director of Infection Prevention, IU Health

Since it is a fact that church worship gatherings are key sources of the spread of COVID-19, it is the recommendation of your Bishop that all churches should suspend in-person worship and in-person meetings of groups for the foreseeable future until the number of COVID cases improve. This will likely include making alternative plans for the holidays. This is particularly true for churches in counties and communities where hospitals are reporting excessive demands due to the rising number of COVID admissions. 
 
We do not make this recommendation lightly, but offer it through an abundance of caution, a continued commitment to our 3 General Rules: Do no harm, Do good, and Stay in love with God; and because “loving our neighbor” is at the top of our priority list. Remember, a life saved this winter is a life saved to journey with us into the next year.
 
Please note that we are not closing the Church! We are not out of business! But I am calling on all pastors to use their authority to make wise and bold decisions for their community, and I am calling for all Indiana United Methodists to continue ministry in creative and innovative ways like you have been for the past 7 months.

“We need to be willing to do the hard things and to make sacrifices in the short term for the benefit of all in the long term,” said Rev. Kevin Armstrong, Chief of Staff, IU Health 

We encourage you to watch the COVID Town Hall video on the INUMC website as well as resources discussed in that webinar (Nov. 16). Over the past several months I have shared some suggested actions you can take in your local church. Additionally, here are some of those suggestions (with a few new ones):

  • Follow the 3 Ws: Wash your hands; watch your distance; wear your mask.
  • Isolate yourself if you believe you have been exposed to the Coronavirus. Call one of the many free screening hotlines or online sites for guidance and/or talk with your doctor to determine next steps. 
  • Quarantine yourself at the first signs of symptoms for 14 days since your last contact with someone who was ill (even family in your household). Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html
  • Continue with socially-distanced outdoor and drive-in worship (as weather permits). Continue to care for the vulnerable persons in your community with appropriate precautions (food banks, meal programs, etc). 
  • Go online with worship, studies and small groups. Use Zoom, Facebook, and/or any of the variety of other platforms available.
  • Pray.
  • Focus on what you CAN do, rather than what you cannot. 


Here’s some good news: I believe a great revival is coming in 2021. We may be making sacrifices now, but you have never seen a reunion like the one we are going to have at the end of this pandemic. Our God is good, and God is not done with us yet. Hold on a little while longer. Stay strong. Remain faithful. And as always…
 
Be encouraged, 

Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Resident Bishop
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church




**Due to the increased COVID-19 infection rate, in person worship at Edwards Memorial United Methodist Church is canceled until further notice.  We hope this hiatus will be as short as possible.  We will continue to post weekly messages on our Facebook page webpage, and YouTube page.**


**Due to the recent rise in the infection rate of COVID-19 in both our County and State, our United Methodist Women and Fund Raising Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel both our Annual Cookie Walk and Community Wide Free Thanksgiving Dinner.  These decisions have been difficult, and we regret the painful impact on our community.  Still, we remain committed to these three basic principles: Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.  Let us join together in prayers of healing for our community, state, and world.**