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Thursday, May 7, 2020
Greetings in Christ Jesus Dear Friends. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all into a posture of change and adjustment to a new reality that is shaping our future in ways we cannot yet fully know or comprehend. We are as a friend of mine used to say when he was overwhelmed, "Brother Palmer, I'm peddling as fast as I can." In spite of COVID-19, or maybe because of it, we are learning at a rapid rate how to function in this season. At the same time we have an... (read more)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
I work at a large, 300-plus bed hospital in Columbus, Ohio. My primary assignment is the emergency department, where we average around 2,500 traumas and 80,000 to 90,000 patient visits a year. In this environment, you never know what the next moment might look like, for you never know the next need that might enter the door. It's part of the unique experience of the emergency department. However, the coronavirus is different. By May 5, more than 260,000 peo... (read more)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Church and Society takes its signature  Seminar Program virtual in a series of webinars on COVID-19 and social justice issues. The weekly series, called Pre-existing Disparities Revealed, explores how the pandemic intersects with topics such as systemic racism, the carcel system, and access to food. "COVID-19 revealed societal injustices that already existed. This pandemic has magnified familiar societal, political, and economic disparities-now with the added u... (read more)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
In many places around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging healthcare systems that already lack resources and infrastructure. One of these places is the Democratic Republic of Congo, where The West Ohio Conference partners with ministries in the North Katanga area. One of those ministries is Lupandillo Hospital, which provides care for over 2 million people and has no reliable electricity, hindering their capacity to care for people who are critical... (read more)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
The West Ohio Camps announced a continued suspension of operations at Widewater, Wesley and Otterbein through May 25. A final decision regarding the summer camping program is expected soon. "Every week, every month, we have high hopes of setting a reopening date, but health and safety comes first," said Ken Overholser, Director of Camping and Retreat Ministries. Following the directives of Governor Mike DeWine and the Centers of Disease Control, Overholzer said... (read more)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Two months ago, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer encouraged West Ohio congregations to embrace the challenges of COVID-19. "Where the church has resisted needed change," he said, "it has stumbled if not utterly failed. Where the church has leaned into change for the sake of the mission of the church, it has more often than not discovered a life that would have otherwise not been available to it." Indeed, as sheltering in place continues, congregations are thriving - an... (read more)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Eight kitchens, over 200 feeding sites and 1.6 million meals served in 2018. This is the work of the UMC Food Ministry based in northern Kentucky, which also serves the greater Cincinnati area.  When Gov. Mike DeWine issued the stay-at-home order for the state of Ohio, Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church in the Ohio River Valley District partnered with UMC Food Ministry to serve 400 meals daily to the students of two neighboring public schools impacted... (read more)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Each month, The West Ohio Conference joins together in praying for the ministries, mission projects, and missionaries of The United Methodist Church.  In May, we pray for people who have experienced natural disasters and the many ways in which United Methodists love and support them. Each year, natural disasters seem to come with more frequency and fury, displacing people and causing millions of dollars in damage to businesses and homes. On top of that, communi... (read more)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
If your church as received or expects to receive a PPP loan as part of the CARES Act, please read this guidance provided by Wespath and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA).  Only allowed expenses during your substantiation period will be converted to a grant. The balance will become a loan that will need to be repaid. According to Conference CFO, Bill Brownson, "It's important for churches to keep detailed records of all expenses during the... (read more)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
The Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project is aimed at enhancing and expediting the process by which people apply for clemency under Ohio's laws. Originally scheduled as in-person workshops, the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project Online Workshop is now available here or on Facebook (with captions) here. A special Live Video Q&A with Expedited Pardon Project Team members is scheduled for TODAY Tuesday, May 5, at Noon.  This is a follow-up discussion... (read more)