Ohio Conference Response
to Coronavirus (COVID-19
Editors Note: This special edition of Faithpoints contains
two updates - March 16, 2020 and March 17, 2020
March 17, 2020 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mindful of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how it is impacting and changing our world each day, Ohio Conference administration has decided to transition the operations of our conference office building in Dayton to virtual operations.

After the close of business today, March 17, 2020, all employees will work from home through Thursday, March 26, 2020. Conference administrators will reevaluate the situation that on that date to decide if virtual operations will need to be extended. 
  
Conference staff will make every effort to ensure day-to-day operations continue without interruption. 

Rather than disrupting ministry, conference leaders are using recent events as an opportunity for continued ministry both within and around the conference.
  • Conference office employees will continue to worship each Monday via Zoom. 
  • More than 50 pastors met together during a two-hour teleconference and shared how they were ministering innovatively in their areas and will have regular meetings throughout this pandemic. 
  • New ministry resources are being compiled and shared on the conference website for churches and ministry programs transitioning to digital platforms.
  • Resources and options for innovative ministry outside digital platforms are also being collected and shared.
  • New ways for members to continue to financially support their church (local and worldwide) are being utilized. Church buildings may be closed, but financial responsibilities remain. AdventistGiving is the easiest option for churches, but tithe may also be mailed to local church treasurers or the Ohio Conference office.
  
The Ohio Conference thanks each one of you for helping ministry to continue. Ministry takes on many forms, from your local church family to your neighborhood community. This is your opportunity to “be the church” in new and mighty ways.

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, MEV)

Additional resources, continued updates and recommendations will be released through our e-newsletter ( Faithpoints ), direct emails to pastors and lay leaders, conference social media platforms, and our dedicated web page :  http://www.ohioadventist.org/virus
March 16, 2020 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Earlier today, both Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and  President Donald Trump  issued new coronavirus recommendations to help control the rapid spread of this disease. 

Effective immediately, the Ohio Conference recommends the following:

  • Suspend meetings or gatherings of 10 (ten) or more people in one room or location
  • Avoid nonessential travel for pastors and staff, within and outside the state
  • Postponement or cancelation of conference events and activities through May 31
  • Begin the migration of your worship service, meetings and community online 

“We care about the safety of our people and our communities,” was the sentiment shared by conference administration and department directors during their meeting the afternoon of March 16.

Conference leaders continue to monitor this evolving situation closely. Recognizing the issue of daycare will likely be revisited this week by Governor DeWine, the Ohio Conference strongly recommends parents who have the ability to take their child out this setting should do so. When the State of Ohio mandates the closure of daycares, early child education centers, and learning centers, Ohio Conference facilities will close as well. 

Every one of us plays an important role in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting our movements. A free  coronavirus simulator  is available online which illustrates the impact our unregulated social interactions have in the spread of viruses as compared to when we practice “social distancing.” The results are startling.

As our conference continues this journey together, we solicit your prayers. We understand church and worship may appear different in the coming weeks. Worship is a way of life and has not been canceled. Ministry does not stop because we cannot worship together in a building.   Ministry can and will continue because of you . John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Additional resources, continued updates and recommendations will be released through our e-newsletter ( Faithpoints ), direct emails to pastors and lay leaders, conference social media platforms, and our dedicated web page :  http://www.ohioadventist.org/virus