401 Scammel St.
Marietta, Ohio  45750
Pastor's Update 

Report to Congregation Council
September 7, 2021

“There are always two sides...” This past month I believe we’ve witnessed a visible example of this expression with regard to our worship attendance and Bible studies. With the decision to return to wearing masks and social distancing for the safety of our membership and any who might attend our activities, combined with what many are referring to as “sympathy exhaustion” toward others whom remain unvaccinated, and the ever-present concern of “catching” any one of the strains of Covid, attendance has been visibly effected. And it’s not just because of those who are “missing.” The other side is that there are some who are “coming” BECAUSE we are wearing masks and distancing again. Two sides!
Sadly, it’s a no win situation for us all. Although society wants to make it a “win-lose/right vs. wrong” scenario, it’s not. There are no winners in any of this, and we’re in it together. We’re all tired. We’re all concerned. And we’ve all had to make difficult decisions. We may not agree, or we may choose to handle things differently, but that doesn’t make us enemies because we’ve chosen differently.
And yet, even with this terrible and trying pandemic we’re all walking through together, much of life here at the church continues. I’m still out there visiting with those who can’t make it here (that is until I’m told I’m not allowed in again for safety reasons). And now is a good time to remind everyone that if you aren’t making it to church, but would like a visit and communion, please call me!! Bible study also continues to meet, albeit with masks and distancing again. Committees are still active and meeting. We even held a Celebration of Life service for Jane Dickey … and thanks to some of the women of the church hosted a really nice luncheon for her family and friends. Loads of Love happened again, handing out almost $600 in twenty-dollar gift cards. Back packs loaded with school supplies were handed out and delivered to students. And my monthly Muskingum Conference of Pastors meetings started back to gathering after a year and a half pandemic hiatus. Things haven’t gone completely back to how they once were when we first entered into the pandemic, with next to nothing happening but a recorded worship service … it’s just that things for the time being have to be done differently. And we’ve had to make some really disappointing decisions, like cancelling the much anticipated Octoberfest celebration, which will have to wait until next year again.
 That being said, I encourage us all to stay diligent, stay safe as new variants arise, and continue to trust that in Christ we can do all things, who strengthens us! We will get through.
In Christ, with Christ, for Christ!
Pastor Steve Mahaffey