In a video message released Thursday, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin acknowledged how difficult and tiring it is to navigate the current ups and downs of the pandemic, but reminded people that Jesus is walking with us.
Rev. Goodwin said he understands how difficult it is for churches to know what the right steps are to take regarding worship, and also said he believes church leaders are suffering from secondary traumatic stress syndrome.
"What are some of the symptoms?" he said. "Fatigue. Feeling like you can never get ahead. Feeling as if crisis mode has never ended. Feeling like things that should be everyday decisions are actually becoming more traumatic decisions, like can I go to the grocery store and make it home safely? So I ask you to be kind to yourselves. Be kind to your leaders. Take a step back and ask what is necessary during this time and what maybe we can delay for another couple of weeks, another month or so, until we're able to get a better handle on this."
Rev. Goodwin also encouraged everyone to get vaccinated, to advocate for vaccines, and to get booster shots when they are available.
"Friends, trust that Jesus is there to hold your hand. Trust that Jesus is truly intent on walking with each and every one of us. Know, church, that Jesus is guiding our feet to the best of our ability with what we know right now," he said. "You know, when I was elected as Conference Minister in September, I had a fantasy - a fantasy that I would be preaching in your churches. That I would not have been past eight months and still have not met most of my staff. That I would have been hugging people and inviting them to my home and being able to fully enter in. But there was another plan. And so I want to be open to what the spirit is doing. Even in this moment, trusting and believing, we will make it through."