May 11, 2020
A letter from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to the Church. Please share widely.
Dear Friends in Christ,
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect much of our individual and corporate lives, posing a threat to the health of so many. At this time, as states and countries consider or begin to re-open, it is important for us to remember to care for ourselves, but not for ourselves alone. The moral primacy of Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbor must guide us in all of our decisions.
In this context, our choices – however complex or difficult – are to be made mindful of the public health and well-being of ourselves and our neighbors.
Recognizing this, the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) of The Episcopal Church has met and approved the following update of the March 12, 2020 letter to DFMS staff regarding travel and meetings during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Effective June 1, 2020 and continuing through Labor Day, September 7 the following directives apply:
1. Relative to DFMS travel by staff and DFMS-retained consultants:
- All staff/consultant travel for DFMS-related work will be limited to essential travel only through Labor Day, September 7. All travel must be approved by the supervising officer, chief, or canon.
2. Relative to meetings and conferences:
- DFMS-sponsored meetings and conferences through Labor Day, September 7, 2020 will continue to be conducted remotely via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, postponed, or cancelled.
3. Updates and contracts
- Updated directives regarding travel, meetings, and conferences after Labor Day will be issued later this summer when more public health information and advisories regarding the fall are available.
- While planning for possible meetings or conferences to be held in the fall is appropriate, planning must include alternative options in the event this prohibition is continued through the fall. No contractual agreements for the fall should be finalized until some level of approval for meeting and conferences is communicated.
May we be God’s blessings, and instruments of God’s love. May the words of the Apostle Paul ring loudly and true in our hearts, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.” (2 Cor 1:3-4)
Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop
On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team:
The Reverend Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies
The Reverend Canon Michael Barlowe, D.D., Secretary of the General Convention and Executive Officer
N. Kurt Barnes, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer
The Reverend Geoffrey T. Smith, Chief Operating Officer
The Reverend Canon C.K. Robertson, Ph.D., Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church
The Reverend Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Creation Care
The Reverend Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within The Episcopal Church