Information Regarding Drive-in Worship Service and Drive-by Communion

Greetings to all of you on this Maundy Thursday. I shared in an email that any of churches planning to have drive-in worship should be prepared to cancel if there was a Stay Home Order issued. That Order has been given and we are living with it now. The extreme high risk involved with persons leaving home is real. As we think about the rationale and expert recommendations that led to this order, I ask church leadership to explore online/ conference calls, ZOOM, or other methods to share in worship this Easter Sunday and other Sundays during this order.
I ask pastors and church leaders again to consider cancelling any plans for outdoor/drive-in worship.
We have also heard about, and received questions about, serving drive-by Communion. Please refer to Bishop Johnathan Holston’s statement when he closed all SC United Methodist Churches through the end of April. The relevant portion of his statement is printed here:

“Sharing in the sacrament of Holy Communion has always been a central act of Christian community. It is the meal that marks the members of the Body of Christ. Questions have been raised about sharing in this holy meal during these days when we cannot meet together physically.

This Holy Mystery” is the United Methodist document that explains communion. It says, “Holy Communion is the communion of the church – the gathered community of the faithful, both local and universal. While deeply meaningful to the individuals participating, the sacrament is much more than a personal event. The first-person pronouns throughout the ritual are consistently plural – we, us, our. First Corinthians 10:17 explains that ‘because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.’”

Communion is an act that we all take part in together – as part of the gathered Christian body. During communion, we share food – both spiritual and physical. COVID-19 can be passed from one person to another even before either person shows any signs of illness. This makes the intimate contact involved in the sharing of food and blessings inherently risky.

Because of the theological nature of communion as something that the body of believers does together in the sharing of one loaf, and because of the practical dangers currently involved in close physical contact, it is strongly recommended that we should not take part in communion until it is safe for us to all come together again to worship as one body.”

You may read (re-read) Bishop’s entire statement online.

We hurt with you that worship cannot be in person during this special time of our Christian faith and Christian year. We celebrate with you that we are the Easter people and celebrate Easter each Sunday, whether we are face-to-face or in a virtual community. We pray for you and your families a blessed Easter, a safe time together, and that all of us remain well, looking forward to a time of true celebration when this crisis has passed.

May God be with us all as we continue to serve faithfully.
Grace and peace,
Rev Stephen Love

Discipleship Ministries and BMCR Offer Joint Virtual Summit on COVID-19

All pastors, church leaders, and laity are invited to participate in this online summit centered on responding, ministering, and surviving during and beyond this COVID-19 pandemic.

Bishop Jonathan Holston is one of the presenters, offering the Episcopal perspective.

Participation is FREE but you do have to register:

 Printed below is the tentative agenda:

COVID-19 Black Church SUMMIT

(All times listed are CENTRAL, please add one hour for EASTERN)


 1: 03 pm – Opening Prayer

 1:05 pm – Welcome and Opening Statement of our WHY  – to INFORM, INSPIRE and IGNITE

Dr. Michael Bowie, Incoming National Executive Director of SBC21

 1:10 pm-   Junius B. Dotson, CEO Junius Dotson

Presenting Partner

 1:13 pm – ONLINE SUMMIT Flow and what to expect

Toska Medlock Lee, Interim National Executive Director of SBC21

 1:15 pm –  Bishop Holston, Episcopal Perspective

 1:25 pm – Presenter – Janet Jamieson, CFO, Discipleship Ministries

How the CARES Act Can Help Your Church

 1:35 pm – Presenter – Riche L. Butler, Sr. Pastor St. Paul UMC Dallas

We Need to Survive COVID-19:  Why Black Church leaders must communicate the narrative

 2:00 pm – Presenter – Marvin Moss, Sr. Pastor, Salem UMC, New York, New York

Ground Zero – The Hype is Real

 2:32 pm – Presenter – Emanuel Cleaver III, St. James UMC, Kansas City, MO

Social Distancing does not mean Emotional Distancing

 2:40 pm – Presenter – Jeffrey Campbell, Associate General Secretary Discipleship Ministries

Making Disciples in the age of COVID-19

 2:47 pm – Presenter – Adrienne Zackery, Senior Pastor – Crossroads UMC, Compton, California

Seeing All The People in the age of COVID-19:  Partnerships you should consider

2:55 pm – Presenter – Dr. Michael L. Bowie, Jr., Senior Pastor – St. Luke “Community” UMC, Dallas, Texas

Preaching to IGNITE the NEW CHURCH


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm


November Issue of the Greenwood District Newsletter Is Now Available

Click on the image at the left to read or download a copy of the 2019 November district newsletter.

Items of interest include:
– Where to find the Conference Program Calendar
– Annual Clergy Evaluations
– Conference Insurance Information
– Looking Ahead – Important Dates
– “Memory Babies” – an outreach of the youth from Tranquil UMC
– Follow-up to the 2019 Fall Lay Servant Ministry School