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Methodist leader calls on churches to keep worshippers safe from Hurricane Florence

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference has asked church members to consider not meeting on Sunday.

Bishop Jonathan, who is a United Methodist Church minister, said: "I am thankful for pastors and church leaders who are making the difficult decision regarding whether to hold Sunday services, and I trust you all to make the best decision you can to balance the safety of worshipers with the desire to gather in prayer."

"If you are unable to gather with your church family on Sunday, I urge you to gather with your family – in a shelter, a hotel or wherever you may be – to pray for the people impacted by this storm, for the first responders and early responders who work tirelessly to see to the needs of others, and for the many community and church agencies who will be working with people in the months ahead.

Before Holston current role, he worked as a conference disaster relief coordinator and served on the United Methodist Committee on Relief, on the Catastrophic Disaster Response Team and as the Church World Service disaster consultant in Georgia.

In this statement addressed to South Carolina United Methodists he ended: "Finally, as people of faith, we trust that God’s love will triumph in the midst of anxiety, fear, loss and destruction. We trust that God will lead us to respond faithfully to the needs of our communities in the aftermath of the storm. We give thanks for our shared ministry."

Other churches have also prepared to help the community:

And some have indeed cancelled their services or changed times:

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