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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)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
You’ve likely heard the phrase, “the calm after the storm.” But how do you find calm during the storm? After all, the current storm we’re navigating with the COVID-19 pandemic is already (at least) 8 weeks old. How Long, O Lord? You might be thinking, “How long will this last?” or “I’m not sure how much more I can take.” Here’s what we know: This storm is projected to last 12-24 months. That’s called a slow-moving storm. When leading through slow-moving s... (read more)
Thursday, Apr 30, 2020
We recognize and accept that life is not going to return to what it was before COVID-19; therefore, how we live out our mission as the church will not go back to what we have always known. We will continue to change, adapt and develop new ways of being the church. Our return to public worship is not, and never should be, based on our own comfort, desires or preferences. It is based on our fulfilling God’s mission and purpose for us, which is loving God and lovi... (read more)
Thursday, Apr 30, 2020
Greetings in the unfailing name of Jesus the Risen Christ. Here you will find a set of Guidelines and Considerations as you prepare to slowly and thoughtfully take up some ways of gathering as the church. I am indebted to the small team that worked on this and all the persons who agreed to be readers. More than 100 folks had a chance to see it and give feedback. Many thanks to these friends for working together with sensitivity and humility for the good of t... (read more)
Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020
Greetings in the name of Jesus the Risen Christ. I promised you that by May 4 I would share my guidance and encouragement about what I have come to refer to as Return to Public Church. By that, I mean the when and the how of our gathering for worship, Bible study, small groups and meetings in alignment with the clear guidance of state and federal leadership. Gov. Mike DeWine's briefing today was helpful and needed. In the special edition of NewsNet that y... (read more)
Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020
Read this announcement and FAQ and join Conference CFO, Bill Brownson, Thursday, April 30 at 1:00PM for a Facebook Live conversation to learn more. When an offering plate can’t be passed, we need other ways to receive tithes and offerings. While mailed checks can work, on-line giving is even better. Many churches already provide ways to give online. Others are new to this way of giving and still rely mostly on passing an offering plate and mailed checks. Recogn... (read more)