The United Methodist Church of Garrettsville
Friday, April 03, 2020
Welcome to
OF Garrettsville!
Due to the coronaviris, we are shut down until March 27 by order of the bishop. No groups can meet, no choirs no Bible Study or support groups. Hopefully, we can worship again on March 29th.
    We are facing something that I believe none of us has ever seen before,
    something we have read about in history books, and something we have
    seen depicted in movies. But this is all very real. A “pandemic” means it
    is an “epidemic” that is over all the earth. These are Greek words that
    mean something is “upon” ( epi ) the “people” ( demos ). When we put
    “pan” in front, it means it is upon ALL. We have never seen this in our
    Our world is smaller today than it has ever been. Certainly it is the same
    physical size as it was 2,000 years ago. But today we can travel around
    the world literally in one day. We can know about events on the other side
    of the world in seconds. People travel everywhere. And this virus is
    spread from person to person. The most eective way to stop it from
    spreading is to literally stay away from each other. I personally hate that. I
    can tell you that my second favorite part of Sunday morning is shaking
    hands with you as we go home after worship ( my first favorite part is
    preaching ). I was already dreading not getting to do that with you for
    March 15. But then the word came from our Bishop, and our Governor.
    We were hoping to resume worship on March 29, although I suspect that
    that is probably not realistic. We will see, based on how our nation does in
    the next few weeks.!
    We are social beings. We like to do things together. But for the immediate
    future we will need to stay apart. We need to remember not to be selfish
    in this, wanting to do what we want to do, regardless. Let’s remember that
    if we are carriers, what other people might be infected by our need to go
    out? Those who are elderly or plagued with chronic health problems
    ( especially lung issues ) could be harmed by our actions. Believe me, I
    like to shake hands and hug people. But right now we just cannot do it.!
  • From the Pastor
    March 16, 2020
    We do not know how long this will last. We can say “God willing…” it will
    be a short time. I actually don’t like that. God does not will a pandemic. I
    suggest we would be wise to just leave God out of this, with the exception
    of praying for each other and our world. We had Pastors who defied our
    Bishop and still gathered for worship on March 15. They said that they “…
    believed in prayer…” and that “God would keep them safe.” God gave
    us brains to make good decisions too. This is not a faith test. This is not a
    time to tempt a disaster by spreading danger.!
    I am working on ways to record some sermons or at least to make them
    available through email or on the church website. As we have never done
    this before it might take some time. We will improvise and find things that
    work. Please know that I am here in Garrettsville, every day, and that I am
    available by phone or in person. If there are pastoral care needs, I will be
    One final thing: as our Treasurer and Financial Secretary would remind us,
    people tend to give their financial support to our church when they are
    physically present on a Sunday morning. My oering is taken from my pay
    every Sunday of the year, including on March 15. I am pretty sure that I
    am the only one who has this arrangement. If you love our church ( and I
    know that you do ), please make sure that while we are apart you find a
    way to mail a check in to the church oce. Our bills will continue to need
    attention every week. Thank you for this.!
    May God bless and keep us, and all the world.!
    Rev. Richard K. Thewlis!