United Methodist Church Suspends Church Services Over Coronavirus

A statement from the office of Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Resident Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference –United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC) said the Church is suspending all of its services for two weeks as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Liberia.

Monrovia – The Episcopal Head of the United Methodist Church in Liberia has announced the suspension of all Church services for two weeks as part of efforts to help the Government stop the spread of the coronavirus in Liberia.

The services include funeral, marriages, choir practice, bible studies and prayer meetings, among others and take effect as of March 18, 2020.

The Church in a statement from Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Resident Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference –United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC) said the move is part of several measures adopted at the end of an Executive Committee meeting convened by the Church on Tuesday, March 17.

During the meeting, Bishop Quire constituted a task force named “LAC/UMC –COVID-19- Task Force”, whose primary objectives include information gathering and dissemination, advocacy, resource mobilization, interventions and monitoring.

The team is headed by the Conference Women President, Dr. Muriel V. Nelson, with the Chancellor Cllr. Powo C. Hilton of the LAC/UMC as advisor.

As part of the measures, the Church said its central office remained closed for two weeks as of March 18, 2020, to observe the prevailing condition.

“All LAC/UMC Church Services including funerals, marriages, choir practices, bible studies, prayer meetings, etc. are all suspended for two weeks while the current situation is being monitored,” the Church said in the statement.

The Church called on all United Methodists to have services with their family at home and pray during this period, as well as encouraged all members to listen to ELUM, 98.7MHz, the United Methodist radio, for information regarding the next steps.

It also called on members to support the work of the task force to ensure that “all of us are protected and saved from this pandemic.”
The United Methodist Church’s decision brings to two, the number of churches that have completely shut down all activities in the wake of registered coronavirus cases in Liberia.

The Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia on Tuesday, March 17 temporarily suspended worship service for Sunday, March 22, in a bid to help curtail the spread of the Coronavirus in Liberia after it was announced by health authorities that the virus has hit home.

The Liberia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC) said it is equally concerned as the Government of Liberia on the report of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Country.
“Not only is this pronouncement scaring, but the reality that it’s fatal and has no cure, is even more worrisome and heartbreaking,” the Church said in the statement.

However, amid this predicament, the Church is urging all Liberians, residents within the borders of Liberia, and United Methodists, in particular, to take all required preventive measures for their safety and health, adding “While the Church is seeking God’s intervention, everyone is encouraged to abide by all protocols that are been put in place to prevent being infected.”

Some of these everyday precautions, the Church said, focused on good hygiene measures including frequent washing of hands, staying home when feeling sick, avoid touching face with unwashed hands, use hand sanitizer, and avoid close contact with someone who is sick, among others.