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Chuck's musings

Statement on Suspension of In-person Worship


Good morning, families and friends of Byers Avenue and Bethel. I must share some difficult news with you. Late yesterday afternoon, I received word from our Missouri Conference Bishop Bob Farr encouraging the suspension of in-person worship of United Methodist churches throughout much of Missouri. As part of a connectional system of United Methodist Churches, Byers Avenue and Bethel will need to immediately suspend in-person worship until further notice. This also includes the cancellation or postponement of many of our programs and events.

Understand that I share in the disappointment of so many of you within our congregations. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Not far behind is Advent, the season in which we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. Christmas, too, will be different this year. But know this. We still have a God who can make a way where there seems to be no way. We still have a Savior, whose light shines even through the darkness of a pandemic. And, as Christians, we still have a hope that cannot be shaken.

Ultimately, the Church is not a building or steeple. It is a movement of people. We can worship and serve, even when we are physically apart. As your pastor, I commit to doing everything I can to ensure in the upcoming days that you have meaningful opportunities to grow in your faith. While I’m not certain of all the details just yet, you can expect things like online worship, devotional content, opportunities to practice generosity and service, and the like.

I am privileged to be your pastor. Thank you for your attention and patient understanding. If you do have any questions or simply would like to talk, I can be reached on my cell phone at 417-317-4753 or by email at We will get through this together. Blessings! – Pastor Chuck