Each Monday, I hope to brief you on the latest matters that our California-Pacific Conference is working on in relationship to our COVID-19 crisis. These will be brief and in outline form. Please feel free to contact me or your District Superintendent for more detail:
- I have been listening to a random list of your livestreaming worships, and I have been inspired and moved by the content and spiritual care you are providing. Thank you for your hard work of bringing the Gospel message to our people, and the many others who are in desperate need of hope and courage in these times!
- This leads to my observation that we as a church have been forced to innovate and learn during this crisis. As I have mentioned before, this is the time for us to adapt and create a new way of being. Without this crisis, we would not have been forced to find new ways to connect and be relevant to our own people and the world around us. We must take advantage of this time to change and become different as a church. What new innovation have you tried, and please share this with us!
- One thing we have learned is that day care services for essential workers can remain open. For our churches with pre-schools, this means that you might organize and provide this essential care to our frontline workers. You should even consider doing this without cost, as this is a vital ministry we can provide at this time.
There are a number of groups that have been meeting regularly to coordinate our annual conference work:
- CABINET: I meet weekly with our Appointive Cabinet to talk about what is happening with each District and our local churches. We are attempting to coordinate our work and provide direct responses to the issues you are raising.
- ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCE LEADERSHIP: I meet weekly with the heads of our Administration, Finance and Human Relations Offices to coordinate our office and take up the many issues related to the COVID-19 crisis.
- MEDICAL TEAM: I consult regularly with frontline medical experts and, even though they are incredibly pressed at this time, they respond with timely and expert advice.
- ANNUAL CONFERENCE LEADERSHIP: We are meeting with a group of conference leaders that has been working on our denominational matters, which now pale in comparison to our pandemic crisis.
- WESTERN JURISDICTION COLLEGE OF BISHOPS AND DIRECTORS OF CONNECTIONAL MINISTRIES: We are comparing notes, sharing best practices, and coordinating our efforts among leaders within the Jurisdiction.
- BISHOPS AND LEADERS FROM OTHER AREAS: I am keeping in touch with many of our Bishops from other areas, and we share our latest updates and practical suggestions.
- MODELING FOR ALL OF US: The point of these contacts and communications is that we all need to partner with others to share, learn and grow in our practical responses to doing ministry amid the pandemic. Who can you partner with in ministry and beyond to increase your capacity to respond?
Finally, let me close with a passage from Isaiah 40:28-31 for us to keep in our hearts this week:
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
The Lord does not faint or grow weary;
The Lord’s understanding is unsearchable.
29 The Lord gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Be the Hope,
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop