Special Message From the College of Bishops Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Dear CME Church Family:

The College of Bishops is aware of the serious nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and we seek to provide some guidance to you as you make decisions about your day-to-day life and about congregational life at the local level:

  1. Follow any restrictions and limitations imposed by local, state and federal officials.
  2. Follow all the recommended hand washing, sanitizing, disinfecting, social distancing and self-observation techniques recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).
  3. Continuation of scheduled Episcopal District and Regional meetings will be determined by the Presiding Bishop.
  4. Continuation of local church services will be determined by the Pastor. If local church services are held, please put extra precautions in place, particularly around serving communion, baptisms, taking up offerings and other activities that involve multiple people touching objects or being in close proximity with others.
  5. Urge seniors and persons with compromised immune systems to limit their contact with others.
  6. Consider holding services, bible study, and other church meetings via video- or tele-conferencing.
  7. Be in prayer for all victims, for our nation, other for countries affected by this pandemic.

As this outbreak continues to unfold, we may issue further recommendations for our CME Church family. Questions may be directed to your Presiding Bishop.

On behalf of the CME College of Bishops,

Lawrence Reddick, Senior Bishop

Thomas Brown, Sr., Chair, College of Bishops

Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Secretary, College of Bishops


  1. Pamela H. Thompson on March 20, 2020 at 4:25 am

    I have read all your messages and I find Bishop Jefferson-Snorton’s communication sums up my feelings toward the virus vs church services. We must consider a lot of our churches general population are in the 60 age and greater, we do not need to be exposed to these germs. CDC and the Medical Society does not know enough about the virus to really know how it is transmitted, there is not a medication to treat it and the symptoms are not for sure.
    The church takes a chance on exposing their members to what can be a deadly situation and end up losing X-number of members to taking a few Sundays off and saving their members. There was a picture on our news today showing a family of around 12 members, who had all contracted the disease and 3 members have already passed.
    She went into the spiritual aspect of what the Lord expects from us, of which I agree. I had decided I would not attend church on Sunday and that won’t interrupt with my spiritual worship at home, I love the Lord and have faith and trust in Him. I will end it, just a personal comment on this issue and our governor today said the worship centers need to follow the recommendations of staying away from people and keeping the areas clean and sanitized. This is not as easy as it sounds, people handle the Bibles, and Hymnals, door knobs, etc. and keeping them from touching others. I am a retired nurse and a lifetime member and officer of the C.M.E. church.
    Thanks for this opportunity to share with you.
    Pamela H. Thompson

  2. Jacqueline Prince St Paul CME Church; Chicago on March 21, 2020 at 6:22 am

    I pray for us all. GOD bless and keep you.

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