RNS Morning Report: UMC Conference Postponed; Improvised Worship; White House on Church Gatherings

Part of the United Methodist Church logo. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Need to know: Thursday, March 19, 2020

Legislation Delayed

United Methodist Church postpones General Conference amid coronavirus

The announcement came Wednesday (March 18) as the Executive Committee of the Commission on the General Conference was notified the Minneapolis Convention Center is restricting all events at the venue through May 10. More from Religion News Service

Innovative Worship

Congregations improvise ways to fight COVID-19’s isolation

Most of the 100 people filling the pews at Calvary Lutheran Church of Federal Way fit the description of those at high risk for COVID-19, making social distancing a pastoral problem. More from Religion News Service

Hands-Off Approach

White House takes low-key approach to churches that ignore coronavirus advice

A senior Trump administration House official said faith communities ‘may not be able to physically gather for the foreseeable future.’ More from Religion News Service

Historical Precedents

Vatican returns to the past with Easter COVID-19 restrictions

The Vatican has a long history of dealing with plagues and other threats. More from Religion News Service


How do we weigh a floral designer’s dignity and freedom against state coercion?

A compassionate response to differences in our beliefs is what our society needs, not government officials more interested in shaming those with whom they disagree, writes Kristen Waggoner. More from Religion News Service

Ministry of Health

A megachurch has nearly 1,000 people tested for coronavirus in two days

In the span of just two days, doctors in Birmingham tested 977 people from across the state by using the parking lot and volunteers from Church of the Highlands. The drive-through effort at one of America’s largest churches is part of a larger nationwide push for more information about coronavirus as more testing locations began to pop up this week. More from The Washington Post🔒




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