A Special Message
Greetings in the name of Our Savior,
Over the past several days, I have been monitoring the issues regarding the current pandemic of the coronavirus. I have been paying attention to the information shared by the Governor, CDC, and the West Ohio Conference. My greatest concern is for our membership that falls under the most susceptible.
The following statement was shared from the office of Bishop Palmer:
Bishop Palmer is strongly urging West Ohio Conference churches to cancel public worship for the next two weeks. This is not a decision he has taken lightly. These precautions are for the health and safety of everyone. He is not asking you to cease operations completely but to avoid large group gatherings. Please remember the poor and marginalized still depend on our churches. The need may increase due to company shutdowns and closures for any period of time. In the days to come, the conference website and social media channels will have additional resources for you and your local church. Please continue to pray for those directly affected by illness and those making decisions to keep all of us safe.
After much prayer and consulting all the information at my disposal, I am laying out the following actions:
- We will take the recommendation of the Bishop and cancel public worship for the next two weeks.
- Worship will be available online for those two weeks through our different media platforms. It will be one “service” at 10:00am.
- Sermons will be available by audio and available to be sent via email
- Bible Study will also be limited to online for the next two weeks. It will be at 6:30pm
- Remember that you can continue to give to Wesley online and by mail.
- I will be looking into alternative methods for completing meetings for our congregations as well.
- Continue to maintain proper hand hygiene
- Observe all recommendations for safety and health by officials and medical experts
One of my main objectives as pastor is making certain that the care of the people is at the forefront. I recognize that many people may begin to question the merit of not coming to assemble together. Others may not be opposed. Yet, I look at this moment as an opportunity to be the church on another level.
The growth and development of the church has always been birthed from some level of opposition and challenged. When the “people of the way” were scattered by spiritual oppressors, they did not stop the movement of the Gospel. They always found a way to get the message and purpose of the Kingdom into all the world. We are still fulfilling our mission. We are still the church. We are just using wisdom and applicable faith.
I am praying for those pastors and leaders in the city who are choosing to take a different route. I am believing God to honor and bless all who are endeavoring to fulfill the mandate of Heaven in various ways. I am praying for all of us as we attempt to do all that we can to prepare and navigate this different territory. God bless you. Love you all.
In the Lord’s Service,
Rev. Dr. Charles W. Ferguson
Wesley Church of Hope UMC