Churches cancel, alter services


By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel



MOUNT GILEAD — Church pastors and leaders in Morrow County congregations had difficult decisions to make with the CDC and Health Department declarations concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Several churches cancelled services immediately and others waited until this week to make the decision to close or stay open. Several churches decided to post videos online and others will live-stream services.

• Cardington First United Methodist Church will not have services. Pastor Paul Turner said that their worship services and meetings are cancelled until March 29th and possibly later.

• Sacred Hearts Catholic Church in Cardington announced on their website that the bishops of Ohio have decided to suspend temporarily all masses and liturgies. That will be at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter.

The church did a live-streaming Mass on their Facebook page Friday, March 20 at 6 p.m. If someone is seriously ill and needs the sacraments, they should contact the parish by phone at 419-946-3611.

• The Church of Christ in Mount Gilead held services a week ago. Pastor Doug Bryan planned to do a live stream on Facebook at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, March 22.

• First Baptist Church in Mount Gilead is asking anyone who is elderly, ill, has heart conditions or other health issues to stay at home, rather than come to worship. Pastor Steve Bloomfield will hold the regular 10:30 a.m. worship service this Sunday, March 22.

Bloomfield said they will have a modified service with hymns, a prayer and a message. They will decide on a week-to-week basis whether to go forward with services. They are also working on live streaming the service.

• The First Presbyterian Church of Mount Gilead has cancelled services for up to eight weeks. The church also announced on Facebook: “We have made the decision to post-phone the 4th Saturday Breakfast for March benefiting Snuggled in Hope. It is important that we not put anyone at risk. Continue to look after each other and know that we are certainly praying for everyone’s health.”

• Fresh Faith will meet as a community online this Sunday, March 15th at 10:30 a.m. as opposed to meeting in person. Please join us at freshfaithnaz.org and on our Facebook page. Weekly updates will be posted to our website, Facebook, and sent out by email.

• Gilead Friends Church website announcement states: “We will be shifting this Sunday’s service to 100% online using Facebook Live video at 10:30 AM. We will also upload the sermon audio onto our website by Monday morning.”

• Trinity United Methodist in Mount Gilead will not have worship service or Sunday School on March 22. The advisory council will decide on a week-to-week basis when services will be resumed.

Trinity’s Pastor Jeff Canankamp has posted a video message for all along with a prayer and scripture passages from Psalm 46 and Psalm 11. The video also includes a hymn. He will be posting a weekly video to keep the community connected in this time of crisis.

These are just a few of many churches in Morrow County. If you are uncertain if your church has worship services, you can call them, or visit their website or Facebook page. Several of the churches above have streaming videos of their services or messages from the pastor.

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel