3/26/20 Update on Coronavirus Response

Hello all!

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.

Peace,

Bill

Response to the Novel Coronavirus Emergency

The following are excerpts from the March 13th letter to the congregation from Pastors Bill and Mary Gause:

…In the interest of cooperating fully with our public health officials and slowing the transmission of the virus through our congregation and community, session voted by unanimous voice vote to cancel all in-person church activities through April 4. This includes offsite gatherings and activities in the church building and at the Beltz center.

We will not gather for worship on March 15, 22, and 29, but we will provide for worship opportunities through online streaming. Information on how to stream services will be made available as soon as those details are worked out. All other church activities including choir rehearsals, Bible study, the Lenten Lunch Studies, etc. will be put on hiatus through April 4. Your pastors, session, and deacons are working on new ways to provide care, contact, and nurture and to help us stay connected during this time….

It is also important to remember that this situation is only temporary. We will continue to monitor the situation and be guided by the Columbus Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA going forward and we will stay in touch with you as developments arise….

This is an unprecedented situation, but we trust that God’s strength and wisdom will see us through. Please continue to pray for the most vulnerable in our community and for our leaders and health professionals as they work to mitigate the effects of this virus.

With grace and peace,

Your pastors, Bill and Mary

Copyright 2020 | Member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA)