Dear friends of MAPC,
In the interest of containing COVID-19, state and local authorities have declared a state of emergency and are urging cancelation of non-essential gatherings. Physical togetherness is an important part of Christian faith and our Sunday worship is a significant way we connect with one another. However, in light of the newest information available about this pandemic, it’s also important that we take a wise and measured approach to prevent community spread of the virus.
The Session of MAPC has voted to hold the worship service for Sunday, March 15 online via Zoom and Facebook.
On Sunday at 11:00am, Pastor Stacey, Chris Miller, and Earl Apel will be in the sanctuary. If you show up you will be welcomed, but worship will be streamed and the primary participation will happen online.
To connect to worship on Sunday, you can either watch on our Facebook page (you do NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch) or participate on Zoom, a web-conferencing service that will allow us to see and talk to each other – and perhaps even sing together! Just click on the links (the underlined phrases) above to join. If you’re uncertain about this, please talk to Pastor Stacey before Sunday and she will help you get connected.
Want to use Zoom but not sure how to do it? Click on one of these links to join our practice calls:
Thursday (tonight) from 5-6pm: https://zoom.us/j/805065026
Friday at noon: https://zoom.us/j/202638963
Saturday at 2pm: https://zoom.us/j/657731148
If you are homebound and need assistance running errands or getting food, please call or email your deacon or Pastor Stacey so we can make arrangements for you to get the necessities and support you need. While we may be physically isolated, we will do everything possible to care for one another and maintain emotional and spiritual connection over the phone and internet.
We take these precautions not out of panic, but out of a sense of responsibility for our community and the world beyond. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or simply need someone to talk to during what may be an anxiety producing time.
Grace and peace,
The MAPC Session and Pastor Stacey Midge
Dear friends of MAPC, March 10, 2020
As you probably know, the U.S. is experiencing growing rates of COVID-19/coronavirus. There are very few cases confirmed in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at this time. Nonetheless, we want to be proactive in our response so we can both minimize fear and protect the most vulnerable members of our church and community.
Currently, we encourage everyone to respond with basic precautions:
- Stay home if you are sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19 (or the flu, which is also very contagious and dangerous for vulnerable people);
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water; and
- Use hand sanitizer of 60%+ alcohol content when soap and water are not available.
- Take care when touching common items: doorknobs, railings, shared pens, etc.
In church, we have already been sharing the peace verbally and through gestures and thoughtful eye contact rather than by physical touch. Communion will continue to be served with large pieces of bread that can be easily picked up and dipped in the cup without touching other pieces of bread or coming into contact with the juice. Our staff is also urged to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to the virus. Many tasks can be completed remotely, but some cannot. We all need to be prepared for some inconvenience and spontaneous flexibility during this time.
If you are homebound: please call or email your deacon or Pastor Stacey. We can help you access the sermon and other worship materials you might have missed and make arrangements for you to get the necessities and support you need. While we may be physically isolated, we will do everything possible to care for one another and maintain emotional and spiritual connection over the phone and internet.
In case of involuntary quarantines and/or cancelation of worship and other events: We will cooperate with requests from the government or Presbytery to stop holding public events. In case of such a situation, we are prepared to hold adapted worship services in real time online via Facebook Live and Zoom (a video conference calling service that can be accessed with picture and sound over a webcam or sound-only with a phone), and to post sermon videos on our YouTube channel. To prepare yourself in advance, please register for Zoom at their website, zoom.us, and contact Pastor Stacey if you need help using it. Zoom can also be used for gatherings of small groups, committees, and social check-ins.
Finally, we need volunteers. Can you stream video from worship onto Facebook Live? Are you willing to bring groceries or other necessities to homebound members (contact-free or using a mask and gloves)? Would you enjoy being a friendly caller to those who may be isolated? Please contact your deacon or Pastor Stacey.
So many around us are reacting with anxiety and fear right now, leading them to hoard supplies and view other people – particularly people of Asian descent – with suspicion. Even as we take reasonable precautions, let our response to this and all difficult situations be led by our values of compassion and justice. Even in a potential pandemic, we are not alone. We stand with each other and with all of our community, especially those who are most frightened and vulnerable. We will do all we can to protect and provide for the needs of one another and those around us. In generosity and in hope, God stands with us.
Grace and peace,
The MAPC Session and Pastor Stacey Midge
You may have seen the solar panels on the south side of our building, but have you ever wondered exactly how much energy they are producing? Now you can answer this profound question anytime you want by checking it out on SolarEdge.
Submitted by Deb Carle, one of our members who volunteers regularly at Taft School in our partnership with Emma Quillin’s second grade class. Thanks to all of our volunteers and those who donate supplies to support Ms. Quillin and her students!
Last Wednesday was the “100 days of school” day in Emma Quillin’s second grade at Taft Elementary. Elementary school classes all over the country were celebrating this yearly milestone. The kids were excited esp. because they get a snack of a 100 things!
As they rotated around the room during reading groups, all their work revolved around 100. Write 100 words – they groaned.
With me, they worked on a worksheet.
If You had a $100, what would you do? Buy a hoverboard was a common answer. Save, it a few said. Buy Miss Quillin a puppy, one said. Buy a Lamborghini – how do you spell that?
I wish I had a 100 . . . . video games.
I could eat a 100 Big Macs, pieces of popcorn, sweets, donuts, barbecue chicken . . .
It was fun to engage with them as they did this fun activity. And yet underneath I know many of them struggle with such serious problems like homelessness, abandonment, hunger and neglect to name a few. These are issues that mostly sit right below the surface but break through sometimes. I observe the seven year old boy who last week was friendly and interested but this week sits with his head in his arms on the table the whole time being very silent. And I watch the little guy whose anger bubbles forth and keeps him from getting what he needs at school everyday. And others, of course.
I praise this celebration of a 100 days of school that provided them with fun and learning and everyday normalcy! Thank goodness for their teacher, Miss Quillin!
Station 1: CLEANSED
Scripture: “And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” ~ Matthew 3:16
Reflective Prayer: What does water do? How is it important to you personally? One of the ways we use water is for washing. In Christian faith, it is a symbol of washing away the things that keep us from being who God created us to be. What do you want cleansed from your life, to allow you to thrive in God’s love?
Active Prayer: Dip your hands into the bowl of water as a sign of God’s cleansing, tender as a parent washing an infant. Dry your hands on the towels. Take a clear stone as a reminder of the Living Water that makes us clean and embraces us in baptism.
Station 2: EMBRACED
Scripture: “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” ~ Matthew 3:17
Reflective Prayer: Who are you? What gifts do you bring to this congregation, to the wider community, to the world? At Jesus’ baptism, God called him “Beloved.” What names does God call you?
Active Prayer: Listen for who God says you are. Using the paper and pens provided, write down one or more of these names, and tuck it into the bundle of branches, so that all of our identities and gifts may be woven together.
Station 3: INTEGRATED
Scripture: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon them to bring forth justice to the nations.” ~ Isaiah 42:1
Reflective Prayer: How is your faith balanced as part of your whole being – intellectual, emotional, physical – all moving together? How would you describe your faith? Is it fresh or well-worn? Resilient? Think of three words that describe your faith today as it emerges and renews.
Active Prayer: Choose one of your three words and use the letter tiles to add it to the words of faith matrix. None of our journeys are the same, but they intersect and cooperate for the common good.
Station 4: INVITED
Scripture: “I am the Holy One, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations.” ~ Isaiah 42:6
Reflective Prayer: Who are you becoming? How are you growing, or where do you anticipate growth? Where are you led? Where is God calling you to serve? Listen for God’s invitation into what is next for you.
Active Prayer: On one of the paper leaves provided, fill in this blank: “In my church, relationships, community, and/or world, God is inviting me to ______________.” Use a ribbon to attach your leaf to the tree branch. We are all growing together into the future God has for us!
Station 5: CONNECTED
As we are cleansed from all that keeps us from
our God-created, thriving selves,
As we are embraced for all we are
and all we will become,
As we are integrated into a faith that impacts
all of who we are and all of what we do,
As we are invited to imagine God’s future for us,
We hold each other in prayer as partners,
siblings, members of one body.
If you have someone’s prayer rock at home,
Spend a moment holding them in your prayers.
If you have brought in a rock, exchange it for another.
If you never had a rock, take one now!
Consider the name on the rock you’ve chosen.
Ask God to help this person feel the Spirit’s presence,
Cleansing, embracing, integrating,
inviting, and connecting them,
To God, to the community of faith, and to the world.