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PO Box 220
Senatobia, MS 38668
551 N Robinson ST
Senatobia, MS 38668-2118
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Monday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
A Letter from the DS
August 03 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues in Ministry,
I want to say “thank you” to the clergy and laity of the Senatobia District for your patience as we continue our journey through this time of Covid-19. We seek to make and complete this journey in a safe and Christlike manner. I give thanks for the spiritual leadership we have through our Bishop, the conference staff, and my colleagues on the cabinet. The decisions that have been required have not been easy, and have not brought unanimous agreement. In such circumstances as these there are no easy answers and there is always differences of opinion.
In this case, the spiritual leadership that God has provided for the people called Methodist in Mississippi has made some very difficult decisions. Those decisions were made not based on public opinion, but based upon a desire to avoiding causing unnecessary suffering and death in this time of pandemic. As John Wesley would have said it, “to do no harm.” These decisions have been based on the best data available. At this time, our leadership has enlisted the help of people from various fields of expertise and knowledge to get us back to more normal formats of worship as quickly and safely as possible.
The Bishop’s Task Force is operational and meeting. The members are being bathed in prayer as they study the proper way to move forward. If you are not already praying for the members, I encourage you to be in prayer for them daily. We may hear something from them this week, next week, or the week after. They are aware from the feedback they have received that their work is a priority to the people called Methodist in Mississippi. There is a great amount of information in the public arena about Covid-19. Much of it seems to be contradictory, which indicates that there is a lot to be discovered as we move forward. Therefore, the decisions being made are important and hopefully will keep this virus from touching you and your family in a significant manner. Prayer is a great and powerful weapon of the people of God. Make use of it now, regardless of what you think about the decisions that have been made to this point.
I want to especially thank those of you who have sought to honor the request of Bishop Swanson to pause all in-person worship on site. I recognize that if you have done so, you have probably encountered disagreement from some of the people you love, care for, and serve. This is not easy. I also realize that you have encountered pressures because of events beyond your control when some of our colleagues across the conference have chosen not to honor the request of Bishop Swanson. For this I apologize.
I have no carrot to entice your compliance. I have no stick to demand your compliance. I only have a trust in each of you that you will honor the request of our spiritual leadership until the task force offers their recommendations. I look forward to that moment. I pray that it will happen sooner rather than later.
As always, if you would like to talk further about this or need to express your thoughts, please contact me by any means best for you. My prayers continue with each of our congregations, each of the clergy and staff people, and all of our faithful laity.
Your servant in Christ,
Rickey L. Haynes