West District Pastors in Charge:
By now you have received the announcement from Bishop Grant J. Hagiya, with conference guidelines for re-launching and re-opening on-site church worship. In addition to the announcement, I want to add several points of follow-up:
A link will be provided next week to complete the online form. This will eliminate “double work” on your part: Using the sample form and then having to redo it online.
I will require the meeting minutes of your governing body that approves your ‘plan of opening.’
Final approval of your plan will be made by a district team of clergy and laity, and not just by me alone. I know that you and your congregations are anxious to return to the sanctuary, but I must stress that the team I’ve put together to vet your plans will be very discriminating when it comes to final approval. I have already heard from several pastors who plan to move slowly and cautiously in working with their congregation’s leaders rather than swiftly and haphazardly, and I appreciate this attention to detail very much.
I thank you in advance for taking these guidelines very deliberately and seriously, and look forward to a very successful re-launch of our worship services, incorporating many of the lessons we have learned throughout our time away from the sanctuary!
With Gratitude For All That You Do,
Rev. Mark Nakagawa
Superintendent of the West District
California-Pacific Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church