- There will be no public worship services at Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church on March 15 or March 22. Instead, we will be streaming our services on Facebook Live and through our radio station 101.5 FM in the church parking lot at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings.
- Small group and other committees will make use of ZOOM technologies, all other church activities will be cancelled until March 27. Please note that our church building will remain open for outside activities and groups.
- The church office will remain open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you are welcome to come during those office hours (9-2 PM) to pray in the sanctuary.
Members and Friends of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church,
This week, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a global pandemic. Yesterday Governor DeWine announced that all schools in Ohio will be on an extended spring break through April 3 in order to slow the spread of the virus. This morning Gov. DeWine and Dr. Michele Reynolds spoke to religious leaders regarding the care of their faith communities. This is indeed a challenging and chaotic time for many of us as we scramble to make plans for childcare, go without a paycheck, and find ourselves stuck inside our homes.
Yesterday, I released a statement that would effectively keep our church community open and functioning relatively normally. Today, however, after statements from our Bishop, Cabinet, and Governor’s Office we as faith communities are being urged to cancel public worship services, effective today through March 27th. United Methodist Churches in the East and West Ohio Conference are being encouraged to this end. Therefore, there will be no public worship services at Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church on March 15 or March 22. Instead, we will be streaming our services on Facebook Live and through our radio station 101.5 FM at 10:30 AM on Sunday mornings.
A link will be posted to our Facebook page and our website for viewing. Please note that in order to use our radio station, you need to be parked in our church parking lot. This is an opportunity for us to gather in a non-traditional way yet remain connected to one another and our community.
Our Thursday morning small group and other committees will make use of ZOOM technologies. Links to those meetings will be sent out in an email and posted to our Facebook page. Other church activities will be cancelled until March 27.
Please note that our church building will remain open for outside activities and groups. We want to continue to offer hospitality to those that use our space regularly and to leave it up to their decision-making teams whether or not they will gather. We do encourage each of those groups, however, to practice good hygiene and to remain at least six feet apart if meeting in person.
We will keep you notified of any further updates via phone, email, and the church’s Facebook page and website. You can read the full text of Bishop Malone’s message to the Conference, as well as find other important resources on the coronavirus here: https://www.eocumc.com/coronavirus/
Know that making this decision was not easy. Gathering together for worship, prayer, and faith development is central to our Christian community. In these times of great uncertainty and illness, though, we want to keep our community safe and healthy. Many in our community are considered “at risk” and we want to care well for all people. To that end, I am working with our leadership to develop ways that we can continue to care for one another, grow in faith, and provide spiritual care while we navigate these unknowns.
The church office will remain open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you are welcome to come during those office hours (9-2 PM) to pray in the sanctuary. If you would like to meet with me, please set up an appointment. I will maintain my office hours at the church and will make myself available at Sips n’ Such and Panera in Middleburg Heights throughout the week. Note that the Middleburg Heights Rec Center will be closed, so there will be no public office hours there.
If you choose to visit the church for any reason between now and March 27, we ask that you take the following precautions:
- Wash and sanitize your hands upon entering the building.
- Stay home if you are sick or feeling unwell.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating or touching your face, and after coughing or sneezing.
- Please remember to cover your cough and sneeze at all times.
- Please place your trash directly into the trash receptacles provided.
- Maintain the rule of social distancing. According to the Governor’s office, this means 6 feet between you and the people around you.
What can you do to help? Ask your friends and family who are staying home, especially elders and those with young children, how you can help them.
Remember that during this time the church still has bills to pay and salaries to provide to our employees, so please consider giving online, mailing your offering or using our drive-thru drop off on Sunday mornings during parking lot worship.
I give thanks to God for our strong community of faith and the ways in which we will support and care for one another during this difficult time. If you need anything, have a pastoral emergency, or need more information please contact me directly at 740-491-2950 (please leave a voicemail and I will get back to you as soon as I can) or mkovacik@outlook.
Know that God is with us always!
Love and Care,