I was reminded by one of our clergy who serves as a Hospice Chaplain that pastors are essential workers and deserve our support and praise during this season of the Coronavirus pandemic. She was right. Among the thousands of leaders we depend upon during a crisis, pastors are certainly included.
As you navigate this protracted season of challenge and choice, I just want to say thank you, pastors. You have families, and many of you have secular jobs along with serving a church. You are being asked to do things you didn’t learn in seminary or pastor’s school.
The good news is that our charge to preach the Gospel and love the people has not changed. This is a great opportunity to lean into the Connection as United Methodists in Indiana. On behalf of the Extended Cabinet, I hope the recent worship resources made available can be useful as pastors take a weekend off.
On behalf of all United Methodists, both lay and clergy, we declare that God is good! As one layperson reminded me on a Zoom call, “Remember Bishop, we still have Jesus and live not as people without hope.”
I end with the words of Paul, who accurately expresses my love and gratitude for each of you.
I Thessalonians 5:12-13 (ESV): “We ask you brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.”
Philippians 1:3-5: “I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the Gospel from the time you first believed it until now.”
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church