As I mentioned in my letter yesterday that was sent via email and posted on the church’s website and Facebook page, the news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing daily in ways that impact how churches, businesses, schools, and other organizations respond with people.
This afternoon a letter was sent from the Resident Bishop of The East Ohio Conference, Bishop Tracy S. Malone, in which she stated: “I urge all East Ohio churches to cancel public worship services through the next two weeks, effective today through March 27.”
Therefore, I have decided to support the urgency of the Bishop’s message by cancelling worship service for at least March 15, 22, and possibly March 29. It is unknown at this time if we will need to cancel services beyond the 22nd, 29th, and through April 5th (Palm Sunday).
I will keep you posted as to worship services; but for now, please note that we will not be worshiping at the church on March 15 and 22. I am considering some options in providing a virtual way of experiencing worship by offering words of welcome, liturgies, prayers, scriptures, and messages on the church’s website and Facebook page until we can meet in the sanctuary again.
Special Note: If you are a leader of a committee, team, or small group of the church, please consider rescheduling meetings or using phones, email, and other computer devises and software tools as an alternative to meeting with people at the church. If not, please observe safe distances with one another by using the fellowship hall and make sure that you sanitize the spaces where you sit before exiting the building with sanitizing products that are safe for plastic surfaces.
The staff and I will most likely be curtailing our hours of availability at the church over the next few weeks, but please know that I will still be available to meet in my office or in the North Olmsted area with individuals that desire pastoral care or discussion surrounding matters of administration, ministry, and missions.
Through the love and strength of God and Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, I know that we will get through this difficult time together with the hope and promise of better days ahead.
Prayerfully in Christ,
North Olmsted United Methodist Church