March 28, 2020 UPDATE

No decisions have been made in regard to a date when we will again be able to have church services and activities in our church facilities.  Worship services for March 29 and on Palm Sunday (April 5) will be online.  A decision about Easter Sunday services will be made closer to Easter pending information from the CDC and government directives.  We are exploring additional ways for classes and children's programming to be offered online during this time.  More information about this will be forthcoming.  


If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at info@otterbeinchurch.org or 717-762-7147.




March 20, 2020 UPDATE

In light of recent developments and the governments directives, we have made the decision that we will not have any onsite services or activities at Otterbein up through the end of March.  As such, we will continue online church services this week (March 22) and next week (March 29).  We will make decisions about onsite worship services and activities in April at the end of next week (March 27).  


We encourage you to continue to do your part to help prevent the spread of the virus.  We are praying for you and are here to help you anyone we can.  If you need assistance, please contact us at info@otterbeinchurch.org or 717-762-7147.

LOADING PLAYER…

March 13, 2020

 

Dear Friends,


As you know, the situation with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is fluid and changing rapidly.  Both Pennsylvania and Maryland have chosen to cancel school for two weeks.  Governor Hogan in Maryland has stated that no public gatherings of over 250 should take place and Governor Wolf has “encouraged” that no public gatherings over 250 be held.  He also requested that churches consider not having services.  Both federal and state authorities are recommending social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.

 

After prayer and discussion among our staff and leaders, we believe it is wise for us to cancel ALL onsite church activities from Saturday, March 14 – Friday, March 27.  We will make a decision about having onsite church services on March 29 after we have a better understanding of the impact of the virus in our local area.

 

We are planning to live-stream our worship service on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with just the Worship Team and Staff in attendance in the Worship Center. The best way to watch the service is on our website (Click Here). You can also view it on our church App and on our Facebook page as a live event. We will rebroadcast the service at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Sunday for anyone who can’t watch it in the morning.  We hope you will join us in your home as a family or with a small group of family and friends.

 

In some ways this has been a difficult decision for us and in other ways it hasn’t been difficult.  We don’t want to live in fear and clearly God will see us through whatever we face in the days ahead.  At the same time, we need to submit to our governing authorities and need to show love to our neighbors – especially those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.  We believe LOVE DEMANDS OF US to not do anything that might unnecessarily put the health of our church family and community at risk.

 

Our desire is to minister to you and your family during this challenging time.  As such, over the next several days, we hope to send you some additional resources to help you engage your children and teens spiritually and help them process what is happening in our world right now.  When we have those resources available, we will send you an email or text to let you know how to access them.

 

We are planning to have our church offices open during regular office hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.  If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to call us at 717-762-7147 or email us at info@otterbeinchurch.org.


We would like to encourage you to do a few things in the days and weeks ahead:

 

1) Pray

   > Pray for God to intervene and stop the spread of this global pandemic.

   > Pray for people who have already been affected by the coronavirus.

   > Pray for people who are caring for others affected by the virus.

   > Ask God to show you anyone that He would want you to reach out to and help during this time – especially those who are elderly and shut-ins.

   > Pray that we would represent Jesus well to those around us in the weeks and months ahead.

 

2) Worship Online with us the next two Sundays. As mentioned above, we will live-stream a worship service this Sunday and next week at 9:30 a.m.  The service will include music and a message from me.  As you join us, we encourage you to share any prayer requests you might have and complete the online attendance card.  We will also have a link for you to give your offerings to our church so we can continue to impact our community, nation, and world with the message of Jesus.  We are so thankful for your faithful giving to our church each week and we are trusting in God’s provision for our ministry even though we will not be having services in our church building.

 

3) If you have a prayer request anytime throughout the week, please share it with us. You can submit prayer requests here on our website and on the OC App.  You can also call us at 717-762-7147.  When we receive your prayer request, we will send it out to our prayer partners and they will pray for you.

 

4) Reach out to your neighbors and anyone else God prompts you to minister to in the days ahead. Look for ways to be a blessing and help them anyway you can. The next few weeks will be especially hard for some people and your encouragement and expressions of love to them will be important.

 

5) Share your faith in Christ.  People are fearful right now. It’s understandable that people are anxious, but we as Christians can take comfort in knowing that God is in control. We can have peace during times like this because we know God is Sovereign over everything and He promises to be an “ever-present” help in times of trouble. People are more open to spiritual conversations when life is uncertain.  Please don’t miss the opportunity to point them to Jesus.

 

Lastly, I encourage you to trust God, pray hard, show God’s love to others, and don’t lose hope or become fearful.  God loves you and cares about the details of your life.  He cares about your family.  He promises to redeem what is taking place for some kind of good. Let’s be the Church of Jesus Christ as we help one another and point people to Him.

 

We will reach out to with additional information as things become more clear.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  You can reach us by email at info@otterbeinchurch.org or by phone at 717-762-7147.

 

I’m looking forward to having you join us online on Sunday at 9:30!

 

Your Pastor,

 

Mike


Resource Links

  • CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy of March 13 Letter of Cancellation of All Activities
  • CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy of March 12 Otterbein Coronavirus Statement
  • CLICK HERE to download Center for Disease Control (CDC) Fact Sheet About Coronavirus Covid-19
  • CLICK HERE to download Center for Disease Control (CDC) What You Need To Know About Coronavirus Covid-19 Fact Sheet