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From the Office of the Presiding Bishop > A serious matter

2 Apr 2020


Beloved in Christ 
Here  in Illinois there is the  stupidity of people having Corono-19 parties not only is it silly and unhealthy but disrespectful to those you love. It’s difficult to  shelter-in-place but it is requested of us  not as law but care for each other. This week I had an unhealthy conversation with a pastor from another denomination whom I had the utmost respect, one who sought my  advice, but as  I called and ask how was church in this time-of-crisis they said “ I am holding  church nobody  can tell me not to hold church” I was so astounded  I closed the conversation, I found that respect for others health and community leadership was lost 
This  virus is serious where 3-5000 people die daily around-the-world, to put out that you are an authority of God’s wisdom and he alone can tell you to close church shows a lack of concern for others especially a congregation 
. God is not going to tell anyone to close, he gives us wisdom of our surroundings  to make wise decisions. Using bully-pulpit decisions using Gods name as an excuse is beyond the pale. I can only pray that this pastor Stubborn, bullheaded diatribe and lack of care for other DOES NOT CAUSE LIVES, also those who keeping  corono-parties will take heed  
Remember one thing if you do not care about your life do not put those who have shown you loyalty, show them leadership-and-respect DO NOT  PUT THEIR  LIVES IN DANGER. 
In this final thought again as I did last week I repair to the words of Frances Havergal  “Take my life and let it be, Consecrated Lord to thee “Take my moments and my days Let them flow in ceaseless praise 
Pastors STAY FIRM IN Your FAITH  but  DO NOT do not be indifferent to what’s happening around us, respect the decisions, and whether 3, 10, 16 people are in your presence  you are doing them an injustice to their loyalty , as  pastors we are you are supposed to respect, not put them in front of a firing  squad hoping there are no bluest in the guns pointing at them 
Hear Mrs. Havergal one last time  
Take my will and make it thine, It shall be no longer mine 
Take myself and I will be, Ever only Lord for thee  
Subscribed by the Office  
Shelter-in-place Presiding Bishop ACW

++Hartley, Presiding Bishop of the ACW


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