I spent some time on the phone yesterday with the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, and after talking the matter over with our conference sponsor this morning, we are all in agreement that it is in the best interest of everyone — conference registrants, presenters, volunteers, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and the town of Sherman — to cancel the Here I Write conference in June.
I am stunned by the development of this plot, even as I can see that all foreshadowing from the past couple of months points to this climax. In reality, Illinois has yet to peak in this pandemic, and we cannot foresee which parts of our nation will be hotspots for COVID-19 in June. We currently have registrants from 23 different states planning to convene in Sherman, IL, this summer, and it is simply not wise to create a situation that could lead to further spread to any of the communities represented.
I am sorry to have to cancel this inaugural gathering of Lutheran wordsmiths, and I deeply apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation causes to our presenters and registrants.
It is measly compensation, for sure, but I do hope to chat with you via Facebook live sometime in the next week. I may not be able to deliver my conference presentations to you in-person as I had hoped this summer, but I will still share with you what I know about the craft of writing. Look for information on that in the days ahead, and be sure to write your questions in the comment lines below. I will do my best to answer them during the live chat.
I pray that you and your loved ones are well and thriving during these difficult times.