Join us on Sunday at 9am for worship by calling 339-207-6119
Worship materials and more information are in the worship materials section
Letter From Pastor Marilyn
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.’ – Psalm 56:3
Greetings Members and Friends of Faith UMC,
To say that we live in an uncertain and a troubling time would probably be to minimize the way that many people feel this morning. The news media hums and buzzes around us. While our communities, health, government and educational institutions continue to announce decisions about potential and actual closures, it can feel like an overwhelming tidal wave of information is assailing our ears and eyes. Many of us are becoming exhausted trying to keep up with the latest news regarding COVID-19.
Some of you may know that Governor Dewine has banned all public gatherings of over 100 people in the same space as well as closing public schools for the next three weeks. As of yet, he has not expressly prohibited religious gatherings. However, it seems appropriate to be cautious with all of God’s children.
Last night, our Administrative Council held an emergency meeting. After much discussion and deliberation and taking into consideration all the latest information available to us regarding the coronavirus, we have discerned it would be better to err on the side of caution than to unintentionally put anyone’s health at risk by continuing to meet and worship during this time. Therefore, we are suspending worship services and other church gathering for the next three weeks. There will be no public worship on March 15, 22, and 29. We are joining other local churches who have resolved the same.
Although this decision is disappointing for us and for many of you, we feel it is the best way that we can help to prevent the unintentional spread of this virus. Social distancing is the most effective means of slowing the spread of the disease. In the words of Dr. Wes Wallace, a leading public health official from North Carolina and a member of the University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, “For social distancing to be effective, it must begin early – so early that it may feel unneeded and silly. If we wait until its need is obvious, it is too late. The faith community has an important role to play in slowing the speed of disease transmission. Large gatherings of people are a petri dish for spreading the infection. For a period of time, I strongly urge our religious communities to suspend traditional services and gatherings and find other ways to practice and sustain our faith. Our witness and example may save many lives, especially the lives of those at risk in our own congregations.” *
These next three weeks are going to be difficult with schools closed and families working to figure out how things are going to be handled. Folks are going to need compassionate listening ears and people willing to find creative ways to help even when we cannot be together. People will get lonely and want to hear a friendly voice. That is where each of us, as the body of Christ, can and should step in and be that compassionate ear and friendly voice. Check in on one another, especially those you know who are at-risk or socially isolated. Share with each other via Facebook. Text each other frequently, email each other and call to check up on those who may not utilize social media and the internet. Continue to pray for one another. In this extraordinary time of uncharted waters, the Council and I ask you to help us continue to keep our community together even as we are apart. As always, I remain available and will be in touch with people as much as possible. Please don’t hesitate to call me (216-288-5123 cell).
We realize that many of you may have concerns. I encourage you to communicate those concerns as they arise with myself or Council members so that we can be proactive in finding solutions. One concern that has been expressed is about church finances. Know that we encourage everyone to continue their giving. Please feel free to mail offerings to the church. We now have a locked mailbox for security. You may also bring your gifts to the church. Our Administrative Assistant, Laura Bayda, will be available during regular office hours. Bonnie Scherger, Finance Secretary, will receive and record your gifts, and make necessary bank deposits.
Know that our church leadership will evaluate the situation as things change and will communicate updates and decisions as quickly as possible. As we pray for one another, please continue to pray for God’s guidance for our leaders, for healing mercies for those infected and the medical personnel and families caring for them, and for strength and patience for all those on the front lines of responding to this health crisis.
One thing remains certain – no matter how many things change around us, we can trust that God in Christ is with us, loving us and caring for us. May all of you continue to feel the love of our faith community and be blessed by the goodness of God’s abundant mercy and grace.
In His Service,
Pastor Marilyn Coney
*Dr. Wes Wallace is adjunct professor of emergency medication at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; medical director of State Medical Assistance Team 2, at the University of North Carolina, and medical officer in NC-1, the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team in North Carolina. He is a member of University UMC in Chapel Hill.
FROM THE DISTRICT
Director of Communications
East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church
330-800-7190 – cell
Sunday, March 29th Worship Materials
Join us on Sunday at 9am for worship by calling 339-207-6119
Download any of these materials below:
We invite you to join us for our Sunday worship services:
8am and 10:15am every Sunday
Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month at both worship services. Our building is fully handicap accessible with an elevator located on the south end of the building. For those in need of transportation, we offer a shuttle service for the worship service
Photos from our Ash Wednesday Service