Ohio “Stay At Home” Order Implications

from Rev. Nanette Pitt and Moderator Larry Becker

We are writing with an important update about First Church activities.

Earlier today, March 22, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH signed an order for Ohioans to “stay at home.” The Governor explained many of the common sense exemptions that will allow us to seek essential services, procure food and supplies, and care for our loved ones, neighbors, and pets.

We wanted to highlight the exemptions from the order that pertain to our operation as a church and to the operation of our Feeding Hope Food Pantry, Feed My Sheep Garden, and the Love Truck.

Religious entities – “religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals” – are defined as essential operations and are exempt from the order (section 12, e).

We will continue, therefore, to offer our weekly services online only (Sundays at 9:30 and 11am and Wednesdays at noon, click here to see Holy Week and Easter worship times) at akronfcc.org/live and facebook.com/FCCofAkron and will not meet together in person. Through phone calls, social media, email, and more we will continue to operate as a church, caring for one another and loving our neighbors.

Further, the order states that individuals may leave their residence to ensure essential infrastructure is maintained, this includes food production and distribution (section 9), and organizations that provide charitable and social services are exempted “…when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities” (section 12, d).

We hope that as a church, therefore, we can continue to operate our Food Justice Ministries – specifically, the Feeding Hope Food Pantry, our partnership with Let’s Grow Akron in the Feed My Sheep Garden and our partnership with the Love Truck.

To do this safely, we are working with a small skeleton crew of low-risk volunteers. We ask that all others to stay at home. The CDC says individuals 65 years of age and older and those who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, are at higher risk.

This morning we had church together in a new way. Let’s continue to find ways to stay connected and to keep the light of Christ shining in the midst of the darkness!

In faith,
Rev. Nanette Pitt, Senior Minister, and Larry Becker, Moderator


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