Welcome to Faith UMC

Join us on Sunday at 9:20am for worship by calling 339-207-6119

Worship materials and more information are in the worship materials section

 


Beloved,

I’m struggling to find words right now to address the deep, deep sadness I’m feeling for God’s people.  I feel as if we are living with two pandemics: COVID-19 for sure, but then there is now the increasing racial tension seemingly as a result of George Floyd’s death.  I intentionally used the word ‘seemingly’ because one thing is certain… the rally’s and demonstrations, protests and marches that we have either watched on television or participated in are not due to one isolated incident.  They are a culmination of the pain and suffering of racism that hurts all of us and hinders our ability to live fully into the image of God as we have been created.

I am an African American woman who has experienced the sting of racism, as a child and as an adult, personally and professionally, in and out of the church.  One reason I am proud to serve in The United Methodist Church is because of our strong commitment to social justice.  I have and will continue join others in meaningful ways to combat racism and all the ‘isms.  I participated in the peaceful rally held downtown Tiffin this past Sunday.  The pictures on our website were taken by Laura Bayda, our Administrative Assistant who is also a talented photographer.

While sitting in a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in a call for unity, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  I believe that with my whole heart.  I also believe in King and Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence to affect social change.    As such, I want to be very clear about this:  While I am committed to changing the world we live regarding racism and understand the need for voices to be heard, I DO NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE IN ANY FORM.

I am a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.  Why? So people would come to love and care for one another in the same way He loves and cares for us.  Always, always, Jesus was about love, not hate. Jesus was also a peacemaker.  Before He left this earth, Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”  As His disciples, we must work towards His beloved community… a community built upon mutual love and respect.

If anyone would like to simply sit and share in conversation about what we are living through in these days, I’ll be at the church on Thursday evening at 6:00pm.  As long as the weather is nice, bring a lawn chair and we’ll sit outside to enjoy the evening.  The only agenda will be to pray and talk about what we’re feeling and thinking in a judgment free zone.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Blessings,

Pastor Marilyn

 


 

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Photos courtesy of our Administrative Assistant Laura Bayda and her photography business Laura’s Lenses LLC

SEE MORE PHOTOS

 

An Anti-Racism Commitment from the Extended Cabinet of the East Ohio Conference

We, Bishop Tracy S. Malone and the Extended Cabinet of the East Ohio Conference, sign our names below as an act of repentance for our silence in the face of the racially motivated brutality that is pervasive throughout the nation. We are appalled by the recent killings of unarmed black people – George Floyd killed at the hands of police officers in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor killed in her own home in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery killed while jogging on a public street in Georgia. We have witnessed the abuse of white privilege and power, in events such as the recent incident in Central Park where a black man’s life was put at risk.

In our baptismal vows we affirmed that we would “accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” We affirm that power and accept our shared responsibility as we lament the death of these children of God. They are beloved by Jesus and mourned by their families. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper and many others have had their life cut short or diminished by racist intimidation and violence. This pervasive evil is documented every day by cellphone cameras – although many suffer without evidence. We have been silent when it happened within our own communities. We say the names of Tamir Rice, Matthew Burroughs, Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams and acknowledge that others go unnamed and unknown to us but mourned by their families and friends.

We have been frustrated into silence – not knowing what we can do – or how we can make a difference. We will be silent no longer.

We call upon our national leaders to make a high priority of addressing the systemic racism that exists within and poisons our legal system. We call for courageous leadership, that works both cooperatively and relentlessly, to ensure that all citizens enjoy equal protection under the law – including those who may be accused of committing a crime and are taken into police custody.

We call upon the U.S. Department of Justice to respond immediately and vigorously to the deprivation of civil rights wherever it may occur. Further, we ask that effective training and supervision be provided in the area of race relations and equal protection under the law, and that this training be shared with local police departments, prosecuting attorneys, and magistrates or judges.

We demand that people who act out of racial hatred be held accountable for their actions – whether they wear a police uniform or not – and demand that those incidents where a life has been taken or significant physical injury has occurred are investigated by independent agencies who have the capacity to hold accountable those whom they investigate.

We acknowledge and accept our own responsibilities:

• We commit the East Ohio Conference to develop Racial Justice training similar to our Sexual
Ethics training seminars. All clergy under appointment would be expected to attend. Every
clergy member will be equipped and expected to stand for racial justice and against white
supremacy as a manifestation of our Christian witness.
• We shall review and – where appropriate – update the Conference’s policy on racial
harassment that was created by bold leaders several years ago.
• We commit the districts of the East Ohio Conference, at their annual leadership academies or
other venues, to offer training to our church laity on addressing the problem of racism in North
America. We will seek to empower our laity to be leaders in their workplace and community,
informed and empowered to stand for racial justice.
• We, the Bishop and Extended Cabinet of the East Ohio Conference, dedicate ourselves to
additional training, to engage in learning conversations, and to step out into public arenas in
the wider community. We will spend intentional time reaching into the greater community,
building intentional relationships and exerting leadership wherever possible in the cause of
racial harmony and social justice. We invite all clergy to join us in these efforts.
• Recognizing that sheriffs, prosecutors, judges, legislators, and other elected officials are
responsible to serve the common good, all citizens should be able to count upon them to
protect their liberty and freedom from intimidation. We therefore encourage our members to
host or attend public forums within our churches and communities where voters can be more
fully engaged with those seeking public office around this question: “How will you ensure that
all people enjoy the same basic human rights and protection that our laws guarantee to all
people?”

We recognize that racism and injustice are deeply embedded and vexing issues within our Church and our communities. We will take action, we will learn together, and we will continue to press forward in transforming our Church, our communities, and our world into the “beloved community.” How can we be silent and stand by when those whom Christ loves are killed by those who are supposed to serve and protect them? How can we further empower our clergy and members to “accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” Will we be among those who recognize Christ saying, “I can’t breathe” (Matthew 25:31-46)? We do not have all of the answers but we commit to take these next steps together.

 

 


Once we are able, we invite you to join us for our typical Sunday worship services:

8am and 10:15am every Sunday

Worship includes hymns, prayer, scripture reading, and sermon.

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

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