Members Stay Connected During Pandemic
by Heidi Shoemaker
Who doesn’t love receiving a card in the mail? A text from a friend? Maybe even a call from a dear family member? Though many church facilities have reopened, not everyone has returned to in-person worship. To that end, members have found unique ways to reach out to church family and stay connected to those worshipping from home.
Ohio Conference’s Communication Department asked church members to consider reaching out to members who, for one reason or another, haven’t physically returned to church since the pandemic. It is in times like these where at-home worshippers need to know they are being thought of and prayed for. Suggestions included mailing cards to senior members, texting and checking up on college students or calling friends just to say hello.
Recently a group of young people and their parents from the Hillsboro church, located southeast of Dayton, decided to run with this idea and visited a member who had been confined to a nearby assisting living facility. Carol Clark, an 88-year-old church member, expressed how she was “missing the young people terribly,” so, despite significant rain, these young adults gathered outside her window to sing several songs for her. Clark requested they sing “Jesus Loves Me,” and many of the young people “touched” her hand through the windowpane.
“Our hearts are full,” says Heidi Shoemaker, former communication director, whose husband, Fred, pastors the Hillsboro church. “What a blessing the younger members and/or in-person worshippers have been to the so-called older members who are not worshipping in person yet, and a blessing the in-person worship- pers have received in return.”
This is yet another example of how #MinistryDoesNotStop in the Ohio Conference.