To our Grace Church Family and Friends
Earlier today, the Church received an e-mail from the Heartland Conference UCC and Central Southeast Ohio Association that began as follow:
The Coronavirus has us baffled! We find ourselves in a conundrum. We don’t want to be afraid because we are persons of faith. We don’t want to give in to fear and anxiety. Yet, we are called to act responsibly. So, what shall we do? Shall we cancel Sunday worship, meetings, and gatherings?
Following Governor DeWine’s proclamations today, we recommend that congregations not gather in person for worship for the remainder of March. We recognize that each congregation has authority to ultimately make its own decisions about worship. However, the seriousness of this pandemic calls us to this recommend this strategy to protect the people we serve and the communities in which we are located.Heartland Conference UCC
After prayerful discussions today with members of the church council, we have decided that there will be no service for this Sunday, March 15. Further information will be forthcoming, but it is anticipated that services will not be held on the 22nd or the 29th. All face to face board meetings and other group meetings are temporarily suspended. We request that meetings be held using available technology to continue the necessary business of the church. The office will be closed until we can set policy to adequately protect staff from exposure to infection.
We will make every effort to contact all of our members regarding this decision. Jack Patterson, Council President, will open the church each Sunday to meet with any whom we fail to inform. The other affected groups who use our facility for group gatherings will be informed of our decision with our recommendation that they too suspend operations until April.
We are currently working with Pastor Vanessa to develop alternative services to make available to the congregation. Using technology, there are a numbers of possible options under consideration.
These are unusual times. They require some unusual actions. We pray that the decisions we make will honor God by continuing to serve while attempting to protect some of our most vulnerable members.
We will continue to update you as more decisions are made. Pray for wise decisions and God’s help. Even if our building is closed, our church continues. The building is not the church, we…the members of Grace are…our work continues as we touch lives in our community. We are entering a time when our good works may be most needed. Let us be there to fulfill God’s mission.
Jack Patterson, Council President