Timely Topics


Coping with the Corona Virus


Coping with the Corona Virus- A Message from Pastor Bill

Dear Friends,

Coping with issues surrounding the Covid-19 crisis can provide us with many challenges and stressors which we are not accustomed to dealing with. Rabbi Steven Leder, author of the book, “More Beautiful Than Before” provides some solace during the stress of the coronavirus crisis. “We know we have the ability to survive loss,” he says. “In many ways we’ve been here before, and that’s important to remember.”

He stresses that we have been here before and we know how to deal with loss, the stages of grief and the ability to survive. He asks three important and thought-provoking questions. 1. What is the most important thing you have ever been through? Compare it to the current situation. 2. Is this a problem or an inconvenience? If you’re bored, it’s an inconvenience, it you’re ill, it’s a problem. 3. What can you do for the next hour that will be meaningful? What will make you feel productive?

I think it is important that we stay informed. It’s better to know the facts that to be in fear. Keep connected with family and friends, at a distance of course. Do purposeful relaxation such as meditation. Attempt to create as much normalcy in life as possible. And one of the most important things is to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. We are not used to isolation and loneliness and it can certainly play havoc on our mental wellbeing.

And of course, let’s focus on what God has to say about coping.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Luke 8:50 “Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’”

Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them”

Revelation 21:4 “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Mark 1:41 “Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’”

We are entering the fifth month of having our lives altered and in many ways put on hold. Things started opening up and the cases started on the rise again. To date there has been 517 cases in Ashtabula County with 44 deaths. It remains important that we continue to be careful, wear your masks and do all you can to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. It also remains important that we, as a community of faith, pray to God to guide the medical professionals as they treat the sick and work toward an effective vaccine. Just remember we are all together in spirit and with each other’s support, we will weather this storm. Stay safe and healthy.

Pastor Bill

Corona Virus Prayer

Dear God, We are facing an unpredictable and still mysterious virus and unprecedented and scary times. Help us search our souls and “do justice, love mercy, and still walk humbly with you. “ Show us how to help each other and not put our own selfishness at the top of our priority lists. Help us not let our fear cause us to hoard food and other necessities and put our own survival above that of everyone else. Open our eyes enough to ask ourselves, if we behave like anarchists and steal from others, what kind of world are we surviving to live in? Most of all, help us love and help each other and draw closer to you.


Giving Thanks During the Time of the Corona Virus

Psalm 92:1-4 It is good to give thanks to God, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O God, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

In these challenging, unsettling, frightening days it may seem strange to think and speak of giving thanks. Yet through the ages, even in the most difficult of circumstances, people have found cause to give thanks. As Anne Lamott reminds us, “thanks” is an essential prayer along with “help” and “wow.” Each day we can give thanks for small things, tender mercies, and blessings. Giving thanks may not (or it may) change the circumstances we face. But giving thanks may change us and how we cope with those circumstances.

For what, for whom, do you give thanks this day?

A prayer of thanks Dear God, in times when I am frightened,in days when I am discouraged, in situations when I am unsettled, even as I grieve for what is lost, remind me to seek reasons to say “thank you.” Amen.

Rev. W. Mark Koenig

Virus Gazing


It stares  into my personal space,

Making me feel I’ve lost my place

In the safe an ordered world I knew,

What is a displaced person to do?

Should I pretend that you are not there?

Continue  my life without a care ,

Or concern  that  I may enable you,

To hurt others by the things  I do.

Or should I look you in the eye and say.

I’ll do what it takes to send you away,

Choosing the right path will set me free,

I’ll do for others what God does for me.

Virus Art

Mona Lisa perfected the art

Of smiling with mysterious heart

A smile enduring through the years,

Even through corona virus fears.

Her challenging smile gives us a task,

Smile at each other behind our masks!

Pastor Bill’s Lessons to Learn from the Covid-19 Outbreak

I read an interesting article recently that talked about the lessons we have learned from the Covid-19 outbreak. Here is their list of ten.

  1. You should be willing to trade some of your freedom for the greater good of the public.
  2. You should wash your hands, whether or not there’s a virus.
  3. Working from home should be an option for many.
  4. Taking that sick day could save lives.
  5. The Internet should be a basic right
  6. Doctors and researchers need to be paid better
  7. Everyone should know how to cook
  8. The importance of talking to friends every day
  9. Learn to appreciate nature
  10. Learn how to be content alone.

I think they all make sense and I have probably experienced all of them one way or another. Though, I will admit to complaining about some of them.

I would also like to consider what lessons we, as a church, should learn during this time. So here is my list of ten.

  1. We should always keep in touch. You do not have to be face to face
  2. It is important to support one another through a time of need
  3. We must continue to make ourselves available to the community
  4. A situation such as this is not a time for the church to shut down. If anything, it is a time to step it up
  5. A phone call can lift someone’s day.
  6. The USPS still exists
  7. The internet is an amazing way to worship together and find all kinds of other tidbits. It is also a way to reach others
  8. Social distancing is necessary. We did the right thing not having physical gatherings
  9. Always remember the importance of family and friends.
  10. It is still all about God Most importantly this is a good reminder that the church is not those four walls. Church happens wherever believers gather to do the work of the Lord. This is also a perfect time to look at our ministry and mission to be sure that we are carrying out God’s charge. Are we truly welcoming? Are we serving the community? Are we sharing the Good News of the Gospel to all those who seek to know the Lord? I hope we have learned the lessons. God is counting on us.

Mary and Ben Get a Quarantine

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