Church Update

Friends and members of Prospect Street UMC,

Beginning Sunday February 28, as we continue our drive-in worship services at 9:30am, those who are ready and feel safe to worship in the sanctuary will be able to do so. 
We will adhere to the same health and safety measures that were in effect before pausing in-person activities:  masks for those inside, as well as maintaining social distancing of six feet.

I will continue to lead the service from the parking lot, and there will be a live video feed of the sermon for those in the sanctuary.  

The other guidelines for church use will stay in effect while Marion County is still at Level 3 according to the Ohio Department of Health Advisory system. 

Thank you again to everyone for your patience and your prayers as we take this journey together.
Jesus is on the throne and shepherding us, His people. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!
Pastor Ty

Guidelines for use of the Church while Marion County remains RED/Level 3 according to the Ohio Department of Health Advisory System

  1. No meals (funeral, parties, showers, etc.)
  1. Only church sponsored meetings if the following conditions can be met:
  1. Social distancing of 6 feet or more (1/25/21 confirmed with health dept.’s recommendation)
  2. No eating
  3. Under 10 people (1/25/21 confirmed with health dept.’s recommendation). If your team has over 10 people and you are blessed to have them all available, please distance yourself accordingly if you cannot hold a zoom meeting.
  4. Leader must wipe down the area(s) used after meeting.
  1. Carry out meal is approved as is for neighborhood supper
  2. No in-person sanctuary funerals nor calling hours inside the church building. 
    We will also not schedule any in-person sanctuary weddings for this summer, while we are still RED/Level 3.

Guidelines for returning to in-person activities:

  1. Once Marion County can maintain an ORANGE/Level 2 according to the Ohio Department of Health Advisory system for a minimum of 2 consecutive weeks, we will readdress the use of the building. As long as Marion County is RED we will continue our drive-in worship services to emphasize ensuring the health and safety of our congregation and community. 
  • When we resume in-person, we will return to our 8:30 and 10:30 services. 
    Masks will be required, and we will continue social distancing in the pews as we did previously.  This also applies to those who have been vaccinated and/or have recovered from COVID-19.  For those who do not feel comfortable coming into the service, we will continue to transmit the service audio to the radio, so that they can remain in their cars and listen to the service.  People who are not feeling well or think they may have been exposed to COVID – please stay at home! 
  • The status of classes and programs at the church will be reviewed by the Leadership Team with an eye on Ohio State Government’s recommendations to determine attendance capacity (i.e., no more than 10 people, no more than 25 people, etc.) and social-distancing requirements.

Questions and Answers:
Why is it that choir members are allowed in the sanctuary but no one else is?
There is a small number of people from the praise team and choir who help lead the hymns and congregational singing each week.  This is done so that the members of the congregation, whether worshiping in their cars or watching from home, can participate as fully as possible in the worship service, particularly in worshiping God through song.  Those helping lead the service this way are all wearing their masks and distancing properly so that everyone remains safe.   

Other churches are open in Marion, why aren’t we?

Other churches and their leadership teams have made different decisions than our leadership team has made.  There are other churches in Marion that have also made the same decision we have, to suspend in-person activities, not least of all our fellow UMC brothers and sisters at Crosswood UMC, Epworth UMC, and Prospect UMC.  We are not open because your church leadership team feels this is the best way to continue worshiping God while keeping our congregation and community safe. 

COVID will be around for years, is it our plan to stay closed for years?

Coronaviruses have been around for years.  COVID-19 made the jump from animal to human and that is why they call it a novel virus.  It is believed that this strain will become just like the annual flu and we will receive a vaccine every year the same as we do now for the flu.  It could possibly change every year, so the vaccine will be tweaked to offer the best protection.  Our health and medical systems are catching up right now, and things will drastically improve when they do. 

Will we allow those not vaccinated to come into the sanctuary?

We will ask everyone, vaccinated or not, to abide by the same health and safety precautions in the sanctuary when we resume.  Not being vaccinated (whether because one chooses not to or just has not gotten it yet) will not prohibit anyone from being allowed in the sanctuary. 

Where is my offering being used while the church is closed?
While the church has been closed, your staff is still hard at work through the week and we are still celebrating our worship services, though in a different manner.  The building must still be maintained and looked after properly.  The church continues to support various missions and outreaches, as well as paying our apportionments to the Capitol Area North District and the West Ohio Conference.  In short, your offering is being used in many of the same ways it has always been.

With everything going on what are we doing to make disciples of Christ?

We are gathering for worship on Sunday, and we are being sent back to our families and to our jobs and in the community.  We leave worship every Sunday with the charge to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”  We are all disciples of Christ with the call from Christ to make disciples.

With no visitations going on what is the church doing for those ill, having surgery, or hospitalized?
The church is praying for these individuals, which is the gift of our emailed prayer chain.  Many have been making phone calls and sending cards in the absence of in-person visits, and we encourage anyone to do this who feels led to reach out.