On Tuesday evening the session of Overbrook Church met virtually, using Zoom (an online meeting app). During that meeting, session discussed the current closure of the OPC building and the Beltz Center as well as the suspension of all church activities. After considering the available information, taking into consideration the directives from the Ohio Department of Health and Governor DeWine, and hearing from our own resident physician, Dr. Sarah Sams, session voted to extend the closure of property and suspension of activities until at least April 30th.
This means that we will not gather in the OPC building for worship on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday, though we will conduct services online to celebrate both occasions.
We know this may seem to some a frustrating decision. It was not made lightly. Your session believes that the health and well-being of not only Overbrook members, but also our community as a whole, is of paramount importance. We will continue to stay connected via phone and email. We will continue to worship together online every Sunday morning. Stephen Ministers and Deacons will be maintaining their relationships with the congregation through phone, email, and US Mail contact. We will provide meals to the Open Shelter and YWCA Family Center shelter, though in ways that allow volunteers to work from home and avoid congregating together. And we will continue to be the church.
And when the threat from this Coronavirus pandemic has decreased and we believe it is safe to return to regular activities, we will do so. And on our first Sunday together, whatever date that is, we will celebrate Easter! It will truly be a time of renewal and rebirth and we think that day will be a perfect time to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord!
So, please hold one another close in prayer. Pray for our country, and our healthcare workers who are out there on the front lines. Pray for our leaders that God would give them wisdom and good sense. Continue to follow the advice of our health officials. Stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. Wash your hands often. And stay safe out there.