By council resolution, Messiah’s building is now open to monitored, congregational activities. Internal, established groups from Messiah, such as Day Timers and Tapestry, may resume their usual schedules. The building is not open, for the time being, for the many outside groups that have used the building in the past for meetings and activities. The reason for the gradual re-opening is clear. Should it become necessary, we could follow up with contact tracing with our established and known congregational groups. But until we are clearly out of the pandemic, this is not a time yet to open the building to large numbers of random guests.
Following the guidelines of public institutions (such as Ashtabula Justice Center), we ask those who have not been vaccinated to wear a mask and practice physical distancing. If you have been vaccinated, masks are not mandatory, but still recommended for indoor gatherings. See links below.
Liturgy is returning to worship. The severe restrictions that went into effect in the Spring of 2020 were a reasonable response to a virus that was not fully understood. It is a safe time now to gradually restore worship practices important in the Lutheran Church. So, expect to hear multiple readings, to speak the liturgy, to be assisted by a deacon, to receive the communion host (“wafer”) placed in your hand, and to hold a hymnal again. Singing is still suspended. Unfortunately, our heating & cooling mechanisms do not turn over the large volume of air in our sanctuary. In such a uncirculated environment aerisols build up within about 30 minutes or less during singing. Perhaps as we initiate a service or two outdoors some signing can reasonably return.
CDC general guidance for activities, gathering & Holidays:
CDC guidance for those NOT FULLY vaccinated remain as follows:
49.04 % of Ashtabula County residents have NOT completed 2 vaccination shots (3-15-22)
45.60 % of Ashtabula County residents have NOT started vaccination (3-15-22).
57.17 % of Ashtabula County residents are NOT fully vaccinated (9-4-21).
53.99 % of Ashtabula County residents have NOT started vaccination (9-4-21).
59.26 % of Ashtabula County residents are NOT fully vaccinated (7-27-21).
59.6 % of Ashtabula County residents are NOT fully vaccinated ((7/19/21).
61.6 % of Ashtabula County residents are NOT fully vaccinated (6/22/21).
Sunday's Service is Broadcast Live from our Church Parking Lot.
Suspended due to technical difficulties
Drive to Messiah. Park your car. Stay in your car. Tune your FM radio to 92.1. The service from inside the building will be broadcast to you outside in the parking lot.
The church service inside continues as usual at 10:00 a.m. every Sunday. The FM 92.1 broadcast option is for the folks who drive to the parking lot and wish to remain in your cars. The FM broadcast is not intended to replace normal church inside, only supplement normal church inside.
We'll figure out how to bring holy communion out to you in your cars -- sort of like the old drive-in days, but you won't have to attach a tray to your window (nor tip the waiter).
A helpful theme I've noticed that runs thru ELCA Social Statements is the exercise of reason. Reason and rationality help sustain humanity in this creation. Establishing protocols and procedures to help us worship together safely is our challenge and calling these pandemic days. I'm sure we'll modify and fine tune some of these protocols as the weeks pass.
This pandemic has taken our nation, culture, economy, households, and churches on an astonishing journey. We've grieved losses, rallied to share support, and responded with a lot of patience and humor. We're stronger for this experience. Thanks be to God.
We've weathered many crises in our lifetimes, none perhaps as dangerous as this -- certainly none as socially isolating as this. We understand we cannot physically be with one another. But we can certainly pray for one another, phone each other, text each other, email each other or even write a snail mail letter in cursive.
We will continue to support our spiritual resources developed and refined during these trying times.
Sunday's Video Services are posted on our website & on our YouTube channel ("Messiah Lutheran Ashtabula"). Please Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
The Facebook Page "Messiah Lutheran Bula" (maintained by Sue Riley) hosts all sorts of positive and helpful posts. The Facebook Page that I write, "Good Day", provides relevant biblical / prayerful perspectives. Links to these pages are provided on this websites Menu and are usefull for those not registered on Facebook - Pages can still be accessed via these links.
In addition to Facebook, Frank Maenpa edits Messiah's web page www.messiahashtabula.com. Helpful pieces show up here, such as sermons from our past Bishop Allende, our current Bishop Barbins and my own Pastor's Page as well as a Page of Daily Prayers for the week.
Online Donations Active !
We have added a link to "GivePlus" an online donation feature powered by Vanco Services to our site. Vanco Services is the same company that has been processing electronic giving for several of our members. With this link on our website you can now give online using a credit card or by deducting from your checking or savings account at your Bank. Donations can be a single, one time gift or scheduled for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly automatically reoccuring donations . Note: Credit card donations do carry some fees for the church. Usually about 2.75%. There is an option that allows you to absorb those fees if you choose to.
Choosing the "ACH" option to deduct from your bank account usually does not carry any fees. Members still have the option to fill out a form and have their donation come right out of their checking account on a similar schedule of their choosing. Usually there is only a minimal fee for such transactions.
The link to a "PayPal" option is also live. There is a fee to the church for these transactions of about 2.2%. Currently there is not an automatic option on PayPal to cover these fees, but you can always manually adjust your donation accordingly if you so choose.
Members can also add Messiah to their Bank's on-line Bill Paying system. Your bank will mail checks to Messiah according to your Bill Pay instructions. Usually there are no fees for such on-line banking service. The Church mailing address is: Messiah Lutheran Church; 615 Prospect Road; Ashtabula, OH; 44004.